Candid Karina

Last time we chatted about music, dear readers, I introduced you to Bruno Mars soulful voice and upbeat r&B style.

This week, we’re going to go a different direction.  A bit of a darker direction perhaps…definitely a little bit heavier.
My music tastes run the gamut, as we’ve discussed, so it should come as no surprise that I would slip from love songs to a little bit of harder edged rock.
This week, I want to talk to you about 30 Seconds to Mars.  The three man band is made up of drummer Shannon Leto, guitarist Tomo Milicevic and lead singer and guitarist Jared Leto.
Before we get to the music let’s just take a second to go back in time…remember that coming of age, angst ridden, teen show “My So Called Life” withClaire Danes

Remember Jordan Catalano with the soulful eyes and so few words? 

Ah yes, THAT Jared Leto.  

He grew up to be a rock star in his own right, and he still has those soulful eyes, but now, the man has words…many many words, and he sings them with a voice that reaches right to the depths of my own soul.
I’m not entirely sure how it is that I discovered 30 Seconds to Mars, but I believe it was with this video about a year or so ago:
The thing to note about this band is that all of their videos are works of art, mini-films if you will.  And I was so intrigued by the whole thing, I simply had to know more.  Also, there was that moment of “double take” where I went, “Wait, is that Jared Leto??” Then I knew I had to know more.
Since then, I’ve become an avid fan, and I can’t think of a song of theirs I don’t like.
Among them, some of my favorites; Closer to the Edge:

Beautiful Lie:

and the highly controversial video for Hurricane (which I won’t post here only because I don’t want to offend, but if you’re brave, you should totally check it out).
There’s just something about the tortured sound of Jared’s voice, the power in the lyrics, and the strength of the music itself that makes this band one of those that I can’t seem to get enough of lately.

It also doesn’t hurt that theirs is great running music.  I’ve used them as the soundtrack to many of my runs lately.
I realize this type of music isn’t for everyone, but if you like a little bit harder core rock music, with a soul…you’ll love these guys.
Plus, Jared Leto’s eyes? 


{November 24, 2010}   Let’s Not Get Stabby

There’s something you should know about me.

I’m a HUGE Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan. HUGE.

When the show was on the air, in the ages before Tivo and Dvrs, anyone who knew me, knew you didn’t call my house on Tuesday nights between 8 and 9 pm. Because that was Buffy time. And you didn’t interrupt my Buffy time.

I have watched every single episode of the show, and even stuck with the spinoff Angel to its bitter (and I do mean bitter) end.

I will be the first person to recognize a Buffy quote or a Buffy alum in another television show or movie (did you all catch Xander’s turn on Private Practice recently? WHOA, not such a cuddle-monkey in that!).

I still hold, to this day, the opinion that BTVS was one of the most witty, well written, campy television shows of all time.

And also, all this new Vampire craze? Has made me more than once wish Buffy would come out of retirement with her Mr. Pointy already.

But, we should be careful what we wish for. Because the latest news to hit the interwebs on the vampire front is that Warner Bros. are in fact going to produce a Buffy movie reboot. And really, with the surge of vampire popularity, this was to be expected, no?

However, this movie reboot does not include series creator Joss Whedon (WHAT? Sacrilige!) or any of the shows actors, writers, producers, costume designers…okay, maybe I’m getting carried away.

The point is, this “reboot” won’t have any of the original Buffyverse inhabitants in it.

And a Buffyverse without Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy? Is simply not a Buffyverse at all.

Before anyone goes all “Well SMG wasn’t the original Buffy anyway”, yes, I realize Kristy Swanson originated the role in the movie with (gasp) Luke Perry by her side…

Kristy Swanson as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

but, SMG carried (beautifully) the stake for 8 great seasons and I’m just not sure I can see anyone else in that role.

And who could ever replace Nicholas Brendon as the loveable and bumbly Xander? Or Allison Hannigan as geeky yet powerful witchy Willow? Rupert Giles? Angel? Cordelia? And PLEASE tell me they’re not going to try and replace James Marster’s Spike, because that CANNOT be done.

And yet…and yet…as much as I believe it is just WRONG to take the Buffy out of the Buffyverse…I can’t help but wish for a well done, well casted, well written movie. Because as a true Buffy fan, a poorly written, poorly acted movie would be a stain on an empire that deserves better.

SO I find myself torn, wanting to banish this so called movie from it’s existence before it even gets made, or wanting to cheer on those involved to make it the best Buffy movie ever…because NOBODY wants a “Grease 2” on their hands here…

Things have been a little bit serious here at Candid Karina’s…so I think it’s time for some lighter fare.

I think I’m going to start a weekly series here. Seeing as I’ve decided to revive the ol’ blog and post more regularly, and seeing as I’m a bit of a celebrity gossip enthusiast, I think it’s only proper that I should devote one day a week to vent about (ahem, I mean discuss) celebrity news.

So, without further ado, this week’s topic:

Taylor Swift & Jake Gyllenhall v. Taylor Swift & John Mayer

If you read my blog or follow me on Twitter (@candidk), then you know that I’m a fan of John Mayer. Here’s a little bit more on that. And here. I know he’s the guy everyone loves to hate, much like, for some reason unknown to me, everyone loves to hate Jenifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson (but that may be a story for another day).

But I like John Mayer. To sum it up, I am madly deeply in love with his musical talent, I think he’s nothing short of sheer genius, and that’s enough for me, personality isn’t really that important. That being said, I actually find him to be funny (albeit sarcastic), super intelligent, and surprisingly humble. He also has a knack for sticking his foot in his mouth, which is something he himself is aware of, he even has a song titled “My Stupid Mouth” on one of his earlier cds.

But this isn’t a post about John Mayer.

This is a post about the double standards Hollywood likes to place on people they dislike.

Because a while back, the whole world was A-Twitter about how gross it was that there was a rumored romance between 33 year old John Mayer and 19 year old Taylor Swift.

I’m not going to really comment on my feelings on these age-gap romances. I think to each his/her own, and I’m not the one in the relationship, so I have no idea whether there is poor judgment on either of their parts there or not. It’s not mine to say.

I also don’t know if there was an actual romance, or just a crush/flirtation, but again, not mine to say.

Taylor Swift, however, appears to have something to say, as one of her songs on her new CD is entitled Dear John, and appears to take a pretty undisguised sucker punch right at Mr. Mayer.

From reading the lyrics, I’m still not quite sure if this was a romance, or a misunderstanding, but it seems to be pretty clear that Ms. Swift got her feelings hurt, and John probably screwed up somewhere along the line.

Here’s a quick peak at the lyrics if you’re interested:

However, once again, that’s not what this post is about.

Before this so called romance went sour (or whatever happened), the world, and Hollywood specifically were already crucifying Mr. Mayer for supposedly being involved with Taylor at her young age. Even Taylor, in her song says “don’t you think I was too young”…

Okay. Fine.

Enter Jake Gyllenghall. 29 years old. Supposedly, Ms. Swifts new love interest.

Now, before anyone gets their panties all in a bunch, I like Jake Gyllenhall. I think he’s adorable, and talented, and have nothing negative to say about the guy.

And obviously, neither does Hollywood. Hollywood loves Jake. And Hollywood seems to love the idea of Jake and Taylor.

Nobody seems to find this union gross or inappropriate for the age difference.


Let’s recap, shall we?

John Mayer = 33

Taylor Swift = 19

Jake Gyllenhall = 29

Am I missing something or is the age gap quite similar here? Now, again, I understand that most of the hoopla is over the fact that nobody likes John Mayer, but then, let’s call a spade a spade, and not use the age thing as the reason you don’t approve of the relationship, and then champion this new one with quite the similar age gap.

I’m just sayin’…

This is my first time joining in on Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, but I’m excited, so I’m just going to jump right in.

For more information on the Writer’s Workshop, click the link above but basically, Mama Kat gives us a handful of “writing prompts” to pick from, and we write, and link up on her blog on Thursdays.
This week, I chose the following prompt: Open Letter To A Celebrity
If you know me at all, you knew this was a prompt I am physically unable to resist.
I could go with the obvious this week, and write a letter to Lindsay Lohan, newly out of rehab, or Paris Hilton, quickly on her way in. Or I could write a letter to Bristol Palin, informing her of all the ways she is NOT a “Star”. (In case you missed it, she’s going to be on this season’s “Dancing With The Stars”). Or, I could write Kat Von Dee about all the ways her new “relationship” with Jesse James is gross and not even the slightest bit surprising. Or I could write a letter to Kate Gosselin…no, no, I really really couldn’t. EVER.
But I’m not going to write any of those…this week.
This week, I’m going to write my letter to Tiger Woods. Yep, I’m going there.
Dear Tiger,
Nobody, and I mean, NOBODY, has any respect left for you.
Candid K

{August 12, 2010}   Concert Review – John Mayer

I’ve been a John Mayer fan for a while now. I know the guy gets a bad rap in the public eye, and I realize that people have really strong feelings about him, one way or the other, but personally, I like him. I won’t get into the why or how of all that, but I have written a post about my feelings about him, his persona, and his talent here if you are curious.

This is not that post.

This is about the concert I attended on Friday, August 6, and the fact that talent wise, this man is pure genius.

If you’re at all familiar with John Mayer’s music, then you know that with him, it’s all about his guitar, and his voice. There’s no fanfare, no light show, no costumes…he just plays his instruments and sings. It’s also, very much, about the lyrics.

Anyway, after a pretty unexciting opener by Train, John Mayer took the stage. I suppose, in all fairness, I should note that it wasn’t that Train weren’t good, I’m just not a big fan, and wasn’t overly attentive to their performance. I think they did a fairly good job, people seemed to be enjoying them and having a good time.

But I was there for John Mayer.

He took the stage and started off with “Vultures”, followed by “Clarity”, and then his current hit “Heartbreak Warfare”.

At one point he launched into this crazy guitar solo. When he took the guitar off his torso and placed it on the floor, and continued to play, I knew we were in for a treat.

Seriously? Raw talent, right?

The rest of the Set list was as follows: Ain’t No Sunshine “Bill Withers Cover”, Who Says, Why Georgia, Perfectly Lonely (one of my favorites by him, and a point in the concert where he really connected with the audience and had us all laughing with him); War Of My Life, Waiting On The World To Change, Gravity, Do You Know Me, Raspberry Beret (Prince Cover) – Which was SOOOO good, Half of my Heart.

When the lights went out, we knew he’d be out for an Encore. because, after all, when does a concert not include an encore now a days? Encore: Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty Cover). Your Body is a Wonderland. Edge of Desire.

The surprise here was that for his Encore, John showed up not on stage, but amidst the audience, with just his guitar, singing a cover of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’, quite possibly my favorite moment of the evening.

He then returned to stage for a few more songs (Your Body is a Wonderland – another favorite of mine) and Edge of Desire, before signing off for the night.

In between sets, John colored the show with his easy banter with the audience. He told a few stories about his songs, he related to this particular audience reflecting back on his days in Boston, when he was attending Berklee, he talked about love, heartbreak, success and hardship. And he was humble, and sweet as he thanked his fans for supporting him and standing by him even when he stumbles on this road through fame.

He was exactly as I expected him to be on stage. Serious and joking. Giving his ALL to his performance, but not taking himself too seriously. He connected, and he delivered. And I think I’d rank this at the top of my favorite concerts attended. Yes, it was that good.

I’d definitely go see him again. Maybe not 27 times, like the lady in line in the bathroom has…but a few more times, yes.

In case you missed it, Corey Haim died on March 10 this year. I never had a chance to write this post then because I was having computer issues, and also, March 10th also happens to be my birthday, I was a bit busy.

But, the other day I was having a Twitter conversation with a friend about Mr. Haim, and I realized I had a post to write.

See, I loved Corey Haim. He may, quite possibly have been my first celebrity crush. Yes, even before Donnie Wahlberg.

Those who’ve been reading my blog for a while, may remember a few posts on him. In fact, besides Donnie himself, Corey Haim has the honor of being the only other celebrity I’ve written multiple blog posts about (all the way back in 2005 and 2007 respectively).

If you’re curious, you can read those here, and here.

A quick perusal through those posts should tell you what an impact Corey Haim had on my adolescence.

Not only was he my first celebrity crush (oh how I remember swooning as he sang in the bathtub in the Lost Boys)

But he was also my first brush with drug addiction.

I remember being crushed and horrified when I learned of his drug problem. I remember, in my sheltered innocence, writing him a fan letter pleading with him to get help, and then, taking down all of his posters from my wall. Exchanging them for posters of other, more clean cut actors. And yes, eventually for Donnie Wahlberg and the rest of the New Kids On The Block.

For me, drug addiction was beyond my comprehension, and I couldn’t support someone who had succumbed to its allure. My heart broke for Corey, but I could no longer be a fan.

Years passed, and word of his struggles would surface now and again, and each and every time, my heart would break.

Later, as an adult, I would find this photo of him

And again, my heart would break. Where was that adorable little boy with the lisp and the crooked smile?

Then, more recently, word came of a reality show, The Two Coreys. Haim and Feldman would reunite, now that Haim had cleaned up his act, and regale their old fans with their new adventures. With this picture, hope was restored.

He was back. This time, he would make it.

And yes, I watched the show, faithfully. And it was apparent very quickly that Corey was not over his demons. As the show exploited his problems, as Feldman tried to get his friend to seek help, and his denial grew stronger…again my heart broke.

On March 10th of this year I woke up in great spirits. It was my birthday. My 35th birthday. I’m not one of those women who hides (or hides from) her age. I treasure each birthday as what it is, the gift of another year of life.

Checking my facebook that morning a friend posted these words: RIP Corey Haim.

My heart broke for the final time for the “Lost Boy” who never found his way.

A small piece of my childhood died on my birthday this year. I’m sorry you couldn’t find your peace on earth Corey, I truly pray you are finally at peace.

{March 25, 2010}   Dream A Little Dream

There are dreams, and then…there are dreams.

You know, the dreams you have as a 13 year old girl. The dreams that seem to be impossibilities. The fantasies, the what ifs, the “that’ll never happen to me”s.

When I was 14 or 15 I had a dream that one day I would meet Donnie Wahlberg and he would fall madly deeply in love with me.

Then I grew up. I fell in and out of love with “real life” guys, and let go of that dream.

But my love for Donnie stood the test of time. Always in the background I would follow his career, watch whatever movies or television shows he was in, and anxiously await the day when he would announce the reunion of the New Kids On The Block.

And then it happened.

I’m going to spare you the details of my love affair with NKOTB and the FIVE (yes five) concerts I went to on their reunion tour. Although, if you would like a taste, click here.

I had a mission at the end of 2008 to get a “Donnie hug” and I succeeded in that goal. But that just wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to have a real, honest to goodness conversation with the man.

Through a series of events, and the goodness of my coworker, last night I had that opportunity, and you better believe I took it and RAN with it.

There was a Charity Poker Tournament taking place in a neighboring town last night, and my coworker invited me (and my friend BFF) to join her and her boyfriend (who through his work has a lot of involvement with particular celebrities, events, etc.).

This Poker Tournament was being hosted by none other than Donnie Wahlberg.

So, we went, BFF and I. All the while holding in our 14 year old squeals of delight and excitement and acting like civilized adults on the outside.

Shortly after arriving we located Donnie, and pretty much took up residence near his poker table. Co-worker and boyfriend were playing poker elsewhere, so it was just BFF and I (and a gaggle of what I dubbed “Donnie Girls” with their boobs exposed, their excessive make-up and their non-concealed squeals of delight and excitement).

BFF and I stood off to the side a bit and just watched. (and maybe snuck a picture or two with my phone).
And then Co-worker and boyfriend joined us and Boyfriend asked “do you want to meet him?” uh…does a leopard have spots?

So, Boyfriend takes us over, and introduces us. Donnie is cordial, shakes our hands, offers to take a picture with us, and then hugs each of us.
As he is hugging me, his next hand of poker is dealt, so mid hug he leans over to check his cards. I start pulling away and say “I don’t want you to lose your game because of me” and he pulls me back into the hug and says “no, don’t worry about that sweetheart”. Melt into a puddle right there…le sigh…

So, then we did leave him to his game, and proceeded to mingle and hang out for a few hours. Co-worker and Boyfriend left in the meantime, and BFF and I were left to fend for ourselves.

And suddenly I looked around and realized that the Donnie Girls were nowhere to be found (Donnie himself had left the room a while back).

So, we decided that wherever the Donnie Girls were, that’s where Donnie would be, so we set off in search. We found them all in another room, hanging out at tables, so we took a seat ourselves. Donnie was off in the corner of that room with his “entourage”.

Then he started make his way out, obviously getting ready to leave, and the Donnie Girls took turns pouncing on him for hugs, kisses, photos, etc.

BFF and I sat back and waited.
When the insanity had died down, and it looked as if he was saying his last goodbyes to his friends, I said to BFF “come on, it’s now or never”. And we walked over to him. I waited politely for him to finish a conversation and then I tapped him on the shoulder. He turned and I said “Hi, I have a story to tell you”.

He grinned that famous Donnie grin, and said “oh? Tell me”.

At this point I’m pretty sure I rambled something about our last meeting, me getting the hug, him signing my wrist which I was supposed to tattoo (check that link above for that story) and he looked at my wrist and said “but you didn’t?” I smiled apologetically and said “but I didn’t” and he sort of laughed. Then I told him that I was a lifetime fan, and wanted him to know that I appreciated him because of who he is, the way he carries himself and interacts with and appreciates his fans, and because of the way he lives his life and his outlook on life. I told him “I have the same outlook on life, so I appreciate that in you”. He looked humbled for a minute, dipped his head low and said thank you. Then he hugged me and said “I love and appreciate you too”. PUDDLE, melting…le sigh.
I may or may not have been asleep on his shoulder at this point…at any rate, I’m certain I was dreaming!

We got a few more pictures with him, discussed Twitter, and the fact that he’s not following me “Send me Tweets about tonight, and I promise if I see them, I will follow you” he said, and then he had to go “I’m going to miss my flight”. And he was off, and so were we.

Once safely esconced in my car BFF (who had her own private conversation with Donnie as well) and I screamed like little Justin Bieber fans.

And that, ladies and gents, is my story of how I have to come up with a new impossible dream.

The End.

Parental Discretion Advised, there is some (not a lot, I promise) strong language in this post.

So, I’m a bit of a celebrity nut. It’s not a big secret, I’ll admit it openly that I am certainly fascinated by celebrity and pop culture. It is a world I would NOT EVER want to be a part of, but thoroughly enjoy reading and hearing about.

In short, it entertains me, and I’m all about being entertained.

That being said, because I love to learn about the personalities behind the actors, musician and others in the industry, there have certainly been times when a celebrity’s behavior has completely turned me off their work (ahem, Kanye West anyone?)

There have also been times, especially now in the age of Twitter, when the personality of someone has actually turned me onto their work.

One such celebrity is John Mayer.

I’ve always liked every John Mayer song I’ve heard on the radio, but I had bought into the media casting him as “a cad and a douchebag” (the media’s words, not mine).

So, I’d always been a little bit turned off his music.

And then, I saw one of his tweets retweeted by someone else, and it absolutely cracked me up so I started following him. What I learned then is that he is witty, sarcastic, self-deprecating, and not at all the way the media portrays him.

The thing is, he very much has a sense of humor that reminds me of my ex, Cognac (click here if you’re curious about that particular bit of my history, but not until you finish this post, ok?)

See, Cognac had a lethally sarcastic sense of humor. He had a way of saying things that were biting, and hilarious, but went over most people’s heads. If taken at face value, out of context, or at all seriously, he came across as a bit of an a$$hole. I have vivid memories of smacking him in the arm and saying “shut up, they’ll take you seriously” oh, so many times.

John Mayer strikes me that way.

So, today, when the world was all a-twitter about his supposedly racist remarks, and his incendiary comments about Jessica Simpson, I was intrigued, and a little amused. I tweeted something to the effect of: ” I believe John Mayer is laughing it up that everyone is taking him so seriously”.

But like everyone else, I hadn’t yet read the full Playboy interview which sparked all the controversy, so I was reserving full judgment until I did.

Well, I just did. And if you have not, I hope you will. Here’s a link, but keep in mind, this is an interview for Playboy magazine, so the language, and subject matter is not rated G: John Mayer Interview.

Here’s what I have to say: First of all, people really LOVE to get all worked up about every little thing, don’t they?

Secondly, yes, John Mayer made a huge mistake using the N word in that interview. By no means do I believe him to be racist or that his remarks were racist, but that word? I don’t believe it should ever be uttered. By anyone. At any time. White or black.

John addressed his decision to use that word in his twitter stream today: Re: using the ‘N word’ in an interview: I am sorry that I used the word. And it’s such a shame that I did because the point I was trying to make was in the exact opposite spirit of the word itself. It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualize using it,because I realize that there’s no intellectualizing a word that is so emotionally charged.

Regarding his comments about dating black women and his racist genitals…that was just an idiotic comment but again, not racist…if you really dissect it and look at it, the complete opposite of that.

And then there are the comments he made about Jessica Simpson. He said she was “crack cocaine” to him, and that she was sexual napalm. Okay, so perhaps (not perhaps, definitely) it was inappropriate for him to talk about their private sexual life in an interview (even if it was a playboy interview), but you know what? I don’t know that I’d be offended if someone said I was sexual napalm, and as addictive as crack cocaine…offended that he was publicly laying out there, yes, but…come on, he just said the intellectual equivalent of “that girl is the bomb”.

Read the rest of the interview, which is LENGTHY and you’ll see he addresses his insecurities, his “douchebaggery”, his immaturity, his love for Jen Aniston, and so many other things.

Taken out of context, yes, those comments can be seen as ignorant, rude, inappropriate, and all kinds of incendiary. But in the content of the full article, he made some dumb statements, he spoke out of turn about some of his sexual conquests, but man, did the media pick apart an interview and ignore 90% of it to focus on just a few words.

It’s been said that John Mayer is the most hated celebrity in Hollywood. I’m not sure how true that is, but he is certainly the one everyone loves to hate.

I’m not entirely sure why this particular issue spoke to me so much, and why I felt I had to defend John Mayer. He certainly doesn’t need my stepping up to protect him. I’m a fan of his music, I think he’s super talented, but he’s not even one of my celebrity crushes. I am not one of those girls who goes gaga over celebrities (Donnie Wahlberg excluded, of course).

But I am also not a fan of witch hunts. And I hate ignorance. And I despise when folks all jump on the lets hate someone bandwagon without knowing all the facts.

I don’t know John Mayer personally. I have no idea if deep down he is a good guy, or a complete a$$hole.

But I read the interview. And I don’t think he deserved the beat down he got for it.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and am certainly willing to consider your viewpoint.

{April 21, 2009}   The World’s All A-Twitter
AH, the Twitterverse. That wonderful world of 140 character snippets of another human beings’ world. Oh, how I love thee Twitter. You keep me entertained, engaged, and enthralled. You keep me informed, involved and inspired. You keep me amazed, awed and appaled. Oh Twitter, what would I do without you in my life?

For those of you who don’t know what Twitter is, (gasp), let me fill you in. You know of myspace and facebook (please tell me you do, otherwise, I’ll have to write a whole other post for you), well, you know those little “status” updates on those websites? That’s pretty much Twitter, sort of. Well, not really…

A quick and easy way to update others on what you are doing at any given moment. But Twitter is so much more than that. It is not just about telling your friends what you are eating for lunch (though we all fall guilty of doing that from time to time), it is an instant way to share those random thoughts we all have and think “I wish I could tell someone this very thought right now”. With Twitter, you can.

When I joined Twitter, before it was the IN thing to do, it was a great way to stay in touch with my bloggy friends at my new job, since I was no longer able to spend HOURS hopping from blog to blog. This way, I could still keep in touch with them, and not jeopardize my new job. I followed a few folks, and had their Tweets sent to my cell phone as text messages.

And then, as will happen with any mode of social media, my circle of friends (followers and followees) began to grow. I made new Twitter friends, met new people, and realized that I obviously needed a new cell phone, because Twittering via text message was just not going to cut it for me anymore.

Enter the Crackberry, and AH…all is well with the world.

But I digress, Twitter, for me, was a way to keep in touch with like minded folks, inform one another, entertain one another, and share little trivial tidbits throughout our day. It was, simply put, like texting your friend when the guy in front of you in line is wearing purple short shorts, or the lady in the next car over just tweezed her eyebrows at a red light.

There are many other uses for Twitter, but that’s the gist of it.

And then, suddenly, seemingly overnight, it appears that the media, and in turn, Hollywood, discovered Twitter. Celebrities started creating their own Twitter accounts with a frenzy, and just in the last two months or so, the number of celebrity Twitterers has increased ten-fold.

Now, in all fairness, it must be said that there are a few celebs that have been Twittering pretty much since it’s inception, and have been using it in much the same way the rest of us “regular” folks do. They interact freely with other Twitter users, and follow the rules of RT, Reply, follow, etc. They “get it”.

But then there’s this new influx of celebs, who seem to mainly be using Twitter as yet another method of advertising. Pimping their newest album, their next television show, their clothing line. Fair enough, plenty of Twitter users use Twitter for the same exact thing, to advertise our newest blog post, our websites, etc.

But there seems to be a whole lot of controversy about celebrities on Twitter these days. Those of us who were “#herebeforeOprah”, have a sense of proprietorship over Twitter. It was “our” social media venue before THEY invaded it.

There are those who believe celebrities will destroy the true spirit of Twitter with their “races” to accrue followers (just recently Ashton Kutcher and CNN were in a race to see who could reach a million followers first).

There are others yet who have an issue with celebrities achieving such high numbers of followers, when they, in turn, only follow a handful of folks.

Some believe we shouldn’t give them that attention, and stick to following folks we can actually have conversations with.

Some accuse those who follow celebs of having an unrealistic belief that they’ll somehow befriend that celeb in real life, simply by exchanging Tweets with them.

Yet others think Celebs had to take over Twitter, because they couldn’t stand that the “average” person had a voice somewhere.

There are many other theories, controversial ideas, and complaints floating around in the Twitterverse.

It’s become an interesting phenomenon, and as someone who has always been fascinated by the celeb culture, it’s been one I’ve become somewhat engrossed in. Because I? I am one of those who will follow a celebrity, if I’m interested in them. I have a different take on this whole Celebrity Twitter thing.

See, I think it’s great fun.

Let me explain.

To me, Twitter has become the epitome of the “celebs are just like us” thought process. I won’t lie to you and tell you I don’t get star struck. Of course I do. I love celebrities. I love celebrity gossip, I love finding out about their clothes, their cars, their lifestyles. I always have. When I was younger I too wanted to be a star, my name in lights, adoring fans, the riches, the power, the fame. As I grew up I realized it is not all that fabulous, and that perhaps, I much prefer my quiet existence. But that doesn’t make it any less fascinating to me.

That being said, because I’m fascinated by them does not mean I hold them in any higher regard than I would you were I to meet either of you. I’m fascinated by people in general. If you lead an interesting life, have something interesting to share with the world, then I want to know about it, about you. This is why I blog, and why I love the blogosphere. Through it, I’ve met fascinating folks I never would have met otherwise, and you know what? To me, in the blogosphere, we’re all a little bit celebrity like, aren’t we?

So, why do I follow celebrities who don’t know me from Adam? Why follow them when they don’t reciprocate my Tweets (which, to be honest, I very seldom try to communicate directly with them) or follow me in return? Why add to their “count” when they are not doing the same for me?

Well, very much for the same reason I still read blogs of folks who probably have never stepped over here to this blog. Why I comment on blogs of folks who never comment on mine. Why I people watch strangers on the street. Because people fascinate me, and the world is full of folks with interesting things to say, and I want to hear it. Soak it all in.

I follow celebrities on Twitter who interest me. Whether it is because I grew up loving them, and like to hear how their lives have turned out, or because they genuinely have positive words to share. Or because they are hilarious and make me laugh through the day. Or because I have a giddy 13 year old living inside me who squeals every time a new Tweet pops up from my teen idol. Or because I really enjoy seeing the interaction between some of these celebs with each other, obviously I’m a bit of a voyeur.

It is, in fact, the same reason why I follow anyone else on Twitter. I like what they have to say at least 80% of the time.

If you bore me, celebrity or not, I’ll unfollow you.

If you offend me, celebrity or not, I’ll unfollow you.

If you don’t ever update your tweets, celebrity or not, I’ll eventually unfollow you.

If you are ONLY using twitter to pimp yourself, your product, your movie, your website, your album, your blog…celebrity or not, I’ll unfollow you.

However, if you have something of value to add to my day, be it educational, silly, trivial or techy, I’ll continue to follow you.

If you and I know each other and carry Twitter conversations here and there, of course I’ll continue to follow you.

But if you and I are strangers, and never actually exchange “Tweets”, as long as I like what you have to say, I’ll still follow you.

In fact, if I send you a Tweet about something you said, and you never reply to me, EVEN if you’re not a celebrity, I won’t quit following you.

I’m not so insecure that I’ll take it personally and feel ignored. I will also continue to follow you if you don’t follow me back, celebrity or not. Because I’m not on Twitter, just like I don’t blog, for the stats. I don’t check my stats, EVER. I don’t care how many followers I have, what their rank is in Twitter, or where I stand in the rankings.

There’s nothing in those numbers for me. I’m about the people, not the numbers.

So, do I think celebrities will ruin Twitter? No, I don’t. I think they are just another aspect of this fabulous little invention, and like everything else, we have the power whether or not to click that little “Follow” button. Easy as pie.

Besides, I have a direct link to Donnie Wahlberg’s personal thoughts now…how could that ever be a bad thing?

Through The Storm – A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World – Lynne Spears with Lorilee Craker

I’ll admit it, along with everyone else, I was glued to my computer screen watching the footage and following the gossip of Britney Spears’ downward spiral. At the time, I was slightly addicted to a few of those “celebrity gossip” blogs, and I would faithfully check in every day, to see what craziness that girl had gotten up to while I’d been asleep the night before.

But, as much as I love celebrity gossip, I am also a sensitive person, and after a while, my heart ached for her. Something was obviously wrong with Britney, and she was obviously not getting the help she needed. All I kept thinking was where in the world was her mother in all this? Because my mom? She would have moved mountains to save me from the self-destruction Britney was imposing upon herself.

So, when I heard the rumor everyone else heard that Lynne would be writing a parenting book, I was outraged. THAT woman? She’s writing a parenting book? What the hell does she have to say about parenting? And then her youngest daughter Jamie Lynn got pregnant at 16. Well, then it just sort of became a joke, didn’t it? Lynne Spears, mother of the year.

And yet, I was curious, because there had to be more to the story.

So, when I was presented with the opportunity from Thomas Nelson Publishers to read and review the real Lynn Spears book, I jumped on it.

For the record, this is not a “parenting” book. And no, this is also not a “tell all” about Britney book.

It is a mother’s book.

The story of a woman, a small town girl, a mother, a Christian, struggling to find her footing, again and again, in a world that threw more curveballs her way than the average person should ever have to deal with.

The story is told in a very personal way, and reads as if you are sitting with Lynne, having a cup of coffee and she’s recalling events from her life.

It is sweet, it is sad, it is even funny at times. There is anguish and pain, but there is also much joy, and pride. Pride for her family, her three beautiful children, who she obviously loves more than life itself. This is obvious. Her story is also surprisingly (to me, because I was unaware of her faith) an extremely spiritual one. I found myself more than once nodding with agreement and understanding at her words. There were also moments I found myself wiping tears from my eyes.

I’ll be honest, the book was not at all what I expected it to be, and I for one, was pleasantly surprised. I have new found respect for not only Lynne Spears, but for the entire Spears clan. I know I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes, not for one minute. We’re quick to say that there’s a price to pay for fame, but sometimes we forget that “they” the rich and famous, are only human. And their families? They didn’t sign up for this, they’re just part of the machine that grinds them up, and spits them out.

And yes, if you are curious, you will learn a few more details about the whole Britney ordeal. But that is not what you will take away from this book.

Will this book keep me from following celebrity gossip? No. But it will remind me to think twice before I jump to judgment. To try and see the “story” behind the “story”. Because there is always more to the story.

et cetera