Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Reading List from Pam Houston

I've only come to know Pam Houston's work this year after a friend recommended Cowboys Are My Weakness. The title intrigued me enough to run out to the store that week to pick up Houston's collection of short stories. I also snagged her novel Waltzing the Cat, figuring if my friend said that Cowboys Are My Weakness was her all-time favorite book, then surely any book by Houston was worthy of a read. I finished the short stories this summer and fell in love. I've passed it off to my roommate, mom and several friends.

Me, cheesing with Pam Houston
In November, Pam's name appeared like an oasis on a message board in the hallway of Butler University's Jordan Hall, where I am taking Dan Barden's Community Fiction Workshop. She was coming to the Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series! I immediately alerted my friend who turned me onto Pam and my friends that I in turn had turned onto Pam. I was more excited to meet Pam than I was to go see Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day in Denver a few moons ago.

Pam's work inspires my work, so during the question and answer period after she read from her new novel, Contents May Have Shifted, I asked her how reading plays into her own writing. She indicated that Lorrie Moore's Self-Help acted as a blueprint for her first short story that gave birth to Cowboys Are My Weakness. Reading is a big damn deal for writers. Or at least it should be. So Pam gave us a list of this year's books she felt strongly enough about to mention.

A Reading List from Pam Houston:

  1. Battleborn, Claire Vaye Watkins
  2. Wild, Cheryl Strayed (Pam added a side note that she's typically not a big fan of super popular books, but this was a winner.)
  3. Absolution, Patrick Flanery
  4. When Women Were Birds, Terry Tempest Williams
  5. Canada, Richard Ford
And a few from me...
  1. The Next Right Thing, Dan Barden
  2. Waltzing the Cat, Pam Houston
  3. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, Jonathan Evison

He's gained almost 10 lbs, and the vet thinks he has a thyroid issue...runs in the family. We had some photos taken in the fall. Kind of cheesy but kind of know that they are!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Interested. Voraciously Interested.

I just fired up my laptop for the first time in about month. I went on hiatus to pen and paper and book consumption. Trudging through my last ghostwriting assignment nearly sent me to an asylum. I swore off any writing projects for one month. I contributed several chapters to a For Dummies book. If I'm luck, I'll get a thanks in the forward to up the ante of the ten free copies I'll receive. For the last year, I remained pretty grateful that I was a paid, professional writer. That assignment soured that attitude coupled with the fact that I took it on just as I started a full-time marketing gig. So I licked my wounds for a few weeks and caught my breath.

Last week I stepped onto Butler University's campus and huffed my way up three flights of Jordan Hall stairs to commence my next writing adventure, a 12-week community fiction workshop. I am terrified! I haven't written fiction since my 400-level workshop my senior at IU. My "professor" for this workshop said we need to be voraciously interested in things. (I write "professor" like he's not a real professor, which he is in fact a real professor. I, however, am not a real university student, just a workshopper.) I like a lot of things. I love a lot people. I am very intrigued and beguiled by Moose. I dig music. I enjoy good food. Not sure that I am voraciously interested in anything or any one particular something.

In high school, I participated in everything I could--softball, yearbook, drama, student government, boys, part-time jobs, friends, and more boys. I was never totally super awesome at one particular activity. I maintained good grades and stayed out of trouble, mostly. But I can't pin one thing that piqued my interest so much that I couldn't get enough of it all of the time. I've posed the "what's my niche" question to this blog's audience. Lots of you enjoyed my cheeseburger blog, but I don't dine enough or cook enough to be a super foodie. So, I am back to wondering about this niche business and voraciously interested proposition.

I do want to give a shout out to some sites I've had the groovy opportunity to chime in some music reviews. Great sites for music fans with photography and content contributed by music fans. I reviewed Old Crow Medicine Show and Alabama Shakes for JamsPlus and PhierceMusic.

His citronella bark collar arrived last week. Moose barked at the UPS delivery man. I have put the collar on him without the juice. Kind of nervous about the whole thing. I've been urged by some folks who live within earshot of his barks. I'll report back. In the meantime, Moose says, "What's up?! My mom let's me do whatever I want."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

So I Went to Bonnaroo

     This past weekend, I ventured to Manchester, TN with a friend for Bonnaroo 2012--my first Bonnaroo. I received all sorts of solicited and unsolicited advice from previous Bonnaroovians prior to my departure. But some things you just have to learn for yourself upon arriving on the farm. 

Here's what I learned at Bonnaroo:
  1. If you don't wear layers of clothing at night, it is certain to be cold (cold enough to make you leave before Radiohead finishes their set, and you woefully buy hot chocolate listening to "Karma Police" followed by "House of Cards" in the distance.) If you come prepared with a jacket and layers for the following night, you will be too warm and end up carrying far too much baggage to be comfortable for Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  2. Drink water. I was told that by Bonnaroovian coaches, but I mean you really need to drink water. When you see a water station, fill up, even if you just filled up.
  3. Shade is a gift; treasure it. When you find, weasel your way into it--no matter how many others are there, too. I can tell I am growing up when I opted to wear a hat everyday instead of frying my aging face.
  4. You can't do it all and sometimes sleep is the best option. I missed two shows I really wanted to see--Alabama Shakes and The Word--because I was desperately tired and couldn't make to midnight shows. I just had to surrender to the fact that I can't do it all, and I value a few hours sleep. Many Bonnaroovians surely differ with me on this one being that I heard them cheering until 6 a.m. to Umphrey's McGee. On Sunday, the 6:00 p.m. time slot was stacked with shows I wanted to see--The Shins, The Civil Wars, Young the Giant--but I chose to post up at the main stage all day to save precious dancing room for Phish. I ended up resting my eyes while listening the amazingly talented Bon Iver. Pretty descent consolation show.
  5. Rumors spread rapidly on the farm. We kept hearing that the Van Halen cover band playing at 2 a.m. on Friday night was actually going to be Phish, so we checked it out. It was in fact a Van Halen cover band. Supposedly there was going to be a nude flash mob to "Barbara Ann" during The Beach Boy's set. That also did not happen.
  6. Check out something you really have no interest in seeing. While waiting to chase the 2 a.m. Phish rumor, I checked out Skrillex with a couple I met from Raleigh, NC. Never was electronic DJ music on my list of things to do at the 'Roo, but I am so glad that I saw/heard it. What a show?! The stage set and graphics were impressive to say the least and the costumes worn by the audience were more than memorable. 
  7. Play with children. They bring a whole extra element of playful bliss to dancing and jamming to music...and collecting glow sticks during Phish.
  8. Ya' just never know who digs Bonnaroo. I learned this yesterday at my doctor's office. I've been going to the same doc since I was 18 and low and behold this was her fourth Bonnaroo. I was shocked! I asked, "Do you go with your sons?" She said, "No. It's not their thing." Huh?! So now I know a lot more about my doctor. Oh, and her son was once the 8th ranked yo-yoer in the world.
  9. Lastly, but far from least: GARY CLARK, JR. IS AMAZING!!!
Gary Clark, Jr. at Sonic Stage
Deb and Me at What Stage 
My buddy Taylor and a yahoo behind us at The Beach Boys

Glow Stick Wars at Phish

Here's my first-ever YouTube video of one of my favorite acts of the weekend: Infamous Stringdusters cover "Free" (Phish.)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tedeschi Truck Band in Indianapolis

     Last night's Tedeschi Trucks Band show in Indianapolis blew me away - simply amazing! I don't really keep a list of Top Shows of All Time, but if I did, this show would be a front runner. I've seen Susan Tedeschi perform twice and had the pleasure of meeting her in Seattle after a show. Alone as an artist, she powers an auditorium with her soulful voice and blues guitar. Add in a heavy dose of her husband Derek Trucks' slide guitar and BAM, mind blowing, awe-inspiring talent melds. 
     Tedeschi and Trucks have a band, hence the name Tedeschi Trucks Band. Each musician brought wildly entertaining talent to the stage--three horn section, double drum set, bass/banjo, keyboards (with a side of flute,) and two back up vocals (including Derek Trucks Band lead singer Mike Mattinson.)--making for an 11-piece band of powerful, collaborative talent. The shared admiration and respect between each artist was evident and contributed significantly to my enjoyment. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves, too. And I dig that. 
Tedeschi Trucks Band - Indianapolis 5.30.12
     A highlight for me was the cover of Bobby Bland's "That Did It," with a shout to Indianapolis's treasured blues bar, The Slippery Noodle Inn. Tedeschi unleashed the depths and power of her vocals, holding her own as 6-string blues guitarist all along the way. She belted and wailed, effortlessly. The percussion jam in one of the later tunes elicited crowd-pleasing hoots and hollers. Every element of the show captured my attention.
Moon Taxi - Indianapolis 5.30.12
     Moon Taxi stood strong as an opening act, and I can't wait to see them again at Bonnaroo next week!

He's my Instagram muse...


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Not a Dead Duck

The other day I encountered a duck stopped in the lane of oncoming traffic on Westfield Blvd. near the Canal. I started to panic at the thought of seeing feathery carnage right next to me -- fowl play, if you will. 

You know what that duck did? She flew! I forgot she could fly. But, fortunately, she did not.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is This Love?

I was telling my mom how two of my clients and I tell each other, "I love you," from time to time. Grown adult men tell me they love me in a professional relationship. Granted I have worked to foster and maintain strong relationships with both of them. One is a mentor and one is just one my dearest friends. I also told her how I never get off the phone with a handful of friends (female and male) without say, "I love you." Mom said "I just think that word 'love' gets thrown around too easily these days." 

Perhaps, she is right? Is this love?
I love my family - immediate, extended and chosen.
I love Moose.
I love my dear girlfriends. L.Y.L.A.S! (and their precious offspring)
I love writing.
I love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I mean, I really love these!
I love having my very own personal relationship with a loving God.
I love blaring music in my car and singing from the top of my lungs.
I love dancing to the point of hot sweatiness to live music.
I love the idea of true love. 

I yearn for that "one true love" in my life even though I don't fully believe such a thing exists. I have loved men in my life, deeply, with all that I could give of my heart. In each of those relationships, I thought, "This is the one." But, they weren't. They were the one for that time in my life. Today, I am working to love myself fully enough to let the idea of true love to just be the icing on my already sweet, self-made cake. I receive deep love from so many amazing people in my life. This idea of "true love" cannot forsake the love I already have. Love comes in so many forms and according to following definition, I think love fits appropriately to define many relationships full of affection. My favorite definition is #4 even though it may be the trickiest form of love to offer. 

Merriam-Webster defines "LOVE":

Definition of LOVE

(1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child> (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt bylovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates>b : an assurance of affection <give her my love>
: warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea>
a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration<baseball was his first love>(1) : a beloved person : darling —often used as a term of endearment (2) British —used as an informal term of address
a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind(2) : brotherly concern for othersb : a person's adoration of God
Can any one of us define this word that weighs so heavily in our emotions and actions? A word that has started wars? A word that riddles through nearly every song? A word that drives a man to cut off his own ear? A word that elicits physical reactions?

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Super Bowl XLVI Sidenotes

Indianapolis suffers today from a major Super Bowl hangover. How do you go back to ho-hum after such hubabaloo? Easily. I know I am not alone in my exhaustion from all the Super Bowl shenanigans. Heck, I went to lunch today at Cafe Patachou at 49th and Penn, and it was packed. Is anyone working today?

I have a few friends who tried to avoid anything Super Bowl related this past week, but the good majority of the people in my life made every attempt to take in all the glory of the Circle City on center included. Monday night I went on my first blind double date on Massachusetts Ave. Not much more to say about that folks, so don't ask. After dinner we decided to go downtown and get a lay of the land. Mind you, I was wearing a dress and high heels, and I said, "Sure. Let's do it!" Indy's weather was off the charts amazing this past week, but the evening still brought a nip to the air. 

I have 3 witnesses - That's Tom Brady!
After clod-hopping around the streets with my frozen, exposed legs, we headed back to the car. We walked north on Illinois St. past a massive crowd outside of St. Elmo Steak House. Come to find out the onlookers were awaiting a glimpse of the Patriots team dining inside of the legendary eatery. Within a few short moments, the team emerged and hooting and hollering from the crowd ensued. I got pretty amped up the second I saw Tom Brady. Before I could really figure out what was all happening, Tom Brady broke off from the team and headed directly at me. I fumbled my BlackBerry in his face trying to get a picture and then he bumped into me with the crowd pushing. I could not muster calm, cool composure and became a total groupie. The man is beautiful! You can get an idea of the crowd and my nervous energy by the photo I snagged. I dreamed about him all night long...for real.

Bills? No Clue.
Thanks, Brooke - photo director
Wednesday, I headed to the NFL Experience with my dear friend Lori and her daughter, Brooke. They are a trip! They had to take a picture in front of anything and everything along the way. We bumped into Mom and Pops and their crew. Mom and Dad had been in Florida the week prior and flew home Tuesday night late. Those crazy kids went straight from the airport to Super Bowl Village at 11:00 p.m. and were back at it the next day. I love it! Wednesday was basically a photographic tour of Indy all dressed up Super Bowl style - pretty amazing!

Thursday night was time to get into the Broad Ripple Super Bowl mix with the George Clinton and P-Funk show. I went with a group of buddies and we weaseled our way as close to the front as we could. But, we met resistance from the VIP security dude. It was so crowded that there was no way to get my groove on without bumping body parts with strangers. Then, I spotted a friend walking into VIP who generously scored me a ticket and stubbed me into some dance room. And, dance I did! I had an absolute blast that night - ran into so many happy people just dancing and playing. 

I stayed out way too late Thursday night and hit the ground running Friday. Mom, Aunt Nancy, Aunt Kay, and my cousin and her boyfriend went to the airport to see a friend dance in a flash mob. It was very cool, but I think the most exciting part of a flash mob is not seeing it coming. 

My dear old friend, Lindsi, invited me to the ESPN party Friday night. I got all gussied up and headed downtown early with my sister, Beth, and some friends to try to see Fitz and the Tantrums before I hit the party. Heavens to Betsy, the entire world descended on Indianapolis Friday night. We couldn't even make our way to the Super Bowl Village through the 250,000 visitors. In the distance, I did hear my favorite Fitz song "Winds of Change." Our crew ended up eating in the mall food court and heading back to the car. We just drove around and clowned until they dropped me off at a warehouse west of downtown for the ESPN party. 

There, I met up with some of my dearest friends since junior high. I thought it would be wall-to-wall celebs. Maybe it was but I don't know many sports stars. I recognized Shaquille O'Neal - kind of hard to miss him. Jesse Palmer's and my eyes connected for a moment and I thought I was the The Bachelor for a hot minute. Other than that, not much star gazing. My friend Amy and I decided to take a shot at the virtual golf set our dresses and heels. Amy ended up swinging her way to 2nd Closest to Pin and I choked completely. The golf pro said I had a great swing and just needed to get better lined up. Well, I guess I will work on that this spring. But, then some idiot says, "That's why women should be in the kitchen cooking and not swinging clubs." Really? Really? You are at a party where the ratio of men to woman is like 10 to 1. Good luck, fool!

That's about all this girl could handle for a week. With training for the mini marathon, walking all over downtown in high heels and dancing my rear off till the wee hours, I was toast by Saturday. Erin, our friend Amy, and I slept most of the day and mustered up enough energy to go see Big Miracle with Drew Barrymore and three sad whales in Alaska. 
Watched the game with a few close friends, chili, tater tots and wonderful conversation.

All in all, SUPER week! Proud to be a Hoosier and honored to live in the Circle City. Well done, Indianapolis! What about you? Tell me about your Super Bowl experience.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Get Curious with Music Magic

Last week I attended a yoga class at CITYOGA that I don't usually attend. I am trying new classes to fit around my training schedule for the Indy 500 Mini Marathon (There, I put it out there. Now, I have to be accountable to all 40-something of you.) During the yoga practice, my teacher said that she wants us to dedicate the practice to curiosity. She guided our practice by adjusting our alignment and showing us curious ways to check in on our alignment. That resulted in muscle aches in places I didn't know I had. Hurts so good! Seriously, all the muscles around my spine were sore - that's a good thing!

So, the yoga teacher encouraged us to take this curiosity with us throughout our day. "Maybe try a food you've never tried," she said. "Or, maybe take a different way home and drive down a street you've never traveled."

Well, on my way home from work that night, I decided to get curious. I did something so risky and wild. I changed my radio dial from its steadfast WTTS 92.3. I know - crazy - I am a loyal listener!!! The only time its not on WTTS is when it hits 88.1 so that my FM Transmitter can play my iPod. That had been the case for several days and weeks, playing the same "Obsess Much" playlist over and over again. The same obsessive thoughts kept spinning and cycling through my head over and over again - kind of insane like. Alright, I was feeling a little blue and kept playing music to make me feel blue. What in the world is up with that?!

Getting curious with my radio dial changed all of that. That night I turned the radio to 93.9 (I-94.) Music magic happened. In an instant I snapped out of my funk. I rediscovered a song that I had previously never gave more than a single listen. Now, it is my new "repeater." It motivated me the next day to power out a 3,300-word whitepaper. I can even listen to my "Obsess Much" playlist without the funky thoughts circling around in my head like gerbil. Getting curious changed my perception, my truth. Thank you, Alanis Morissette.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Moose's Mommy Blog

     Mommy blogs present a powerful force on the blogosphere, with impressive readership and engagement. The blog that inspired me to blog is technically a mommy blog. I Am Bossy is in fact a mother and so much are all mothers. Mothers, you know you are more than moms, right?! You are still YOU! I imagine motherhood to be the magical, transforming, challenging, rewarding, exhausting life experience you mommy bloggers describe in your digital writings. I am not a mother to any humans and can't quite relate to all the mommy blogs out there, but my dear friend Celeste (Mommy, Blogger, Not a Mommy Blogger) introduced me to an amazing mommy blog, Momastery
     Glennon, the Momastery blogger, writes with truth, heart, and humor so elegantly and real that I was in awe when I read her post "A Mountain I'm Willing to Die On." In this mommy blogger post, Glennon writes a letter to her son, pouring out her truth, heart and faith and unyielding love and promise of tolerance should he one day tell her that his gay. Glennon references bible verses and connects her faith to words in a way I have never known. All she speaks is love as her truth in her walk with God. I was touched, so I thought I should write a letter, too.
Dearest Moose,
     You are nearly 3.5 years old and we have been together only 6 weeks short of that. I picked you out over the Internet after researching as many American Bulldog breeders that I could find east of the Mississippi. Truthfully, I found a couple of other breeders I was more drawn to than the one that reared you, but you were already born and going to be weened within in weeks. Once I decided that I wanted to bring a puppy into my life, I wanted it NOW. Your mother tends to want what she wants and typically wants it like yesterday. I fell in love with you and named you before I made the 7-hour drive to Springfield, MO to get you. 
     Oh, you were just a nugget of love, love, love. I was so obsessed with you and didn't understand why my employer wouldn't grant me puppy maternity leave. I hated to leave you for a minute, so I took you with me everywhere that I could. You rode shotgun everyday - we went to Plump's Last Shot to meet the girls, played with Lyla and Marley, went to Grandma's, went to parks, malls. I even snuck you into work one day. I wanted to help socialize you to this world and for you to learn trust and manners.
     You passed training classes at Bark Tudor with flying colors. You are a smart, good boy! Mama, on the hand, became a bit soft on training. This allowed some less favorable behaviors to form, such as pulling on the leash, barking at me incessantly and not understanding that I don't speak that language, and jumping on people and the couch whenever you saw fit. Moose, Mommy wants you to know that this is not your fault. You are a smart, good boy. Mommy must carry this responsibility. I am in charge of setting boundaries and teaching you to be a gentleman. You see, Moose, God hit you with the handsome stick and with that comes the responsibility of acting like a gentleman. Mommy's must teach this (well, and Daddy's if there is one available for such lessons.) Oh, that reminds me. You had a human Daddy for a while and he loved you dearly. He and Mommy didn't jive after some time, so he had to move on. Please know this had nothing to do with you and he still asks to see you.
     Now, Moose, some people mistake you for a Pit Bull. That's okay. Many people are not familiar with your breed. We don't dislike Pit Bulls and you are a part of a larger dog community known as Bully Breeds. So are pits, so you're kind of like distant cousins but not really at all. At any rate, bullying aptly describes the behavior that led to your dismissal from doggy daycare. It's not very attractive to "get aggressive at the water bowl." Moose, you and Lilli share water and eat your food right next to each other. Mommy doesn't understand why you would push around a young, female Great Dane at the water bowl. As a result of this, we now take more walks together since you are not welcome to exercise with your friends anymore. Mommy still loves you and treasures our walks around our fabulous neighborhood. You walk nicely now and are free to pee on anything that you'd like.
     Grandma is allergic to you, but she loves you. She does. It's hard for her to not pet you. She buys you Christmas gifts and says "Awww" when I tell her stories about your antics. Mommy sometimes won't push you over in bed because I don't want to disturb you. I would rather hang off the edge of my bed than for you to get up and go elsewhere. I feel safe and loved when you are near me. Your heartbeat and breath bring a calm and a peace to my rest. When I bend down to kiss your chubby cheeks and rub your ears, sometimes you nudge in closer to my face. When you do that, I feel closer to a God that showers love in so many different forms. 
     Thank you, Moose, for letting me love you, for trusting me, for giving me your unconditional love, for making me laugh just when I need it, for knowing when I am sick or sad and just need your cuddles, for teaching me patience and perseverance, for loving Lilli, for being potty trained so easily, for being smart and good, for going in your crate without a fight, for forgiving me on occasional long days in the crate, for being the handsome good boy that you are and for walking this journey with me for however long I will be blessed with your companionship. 

I love you,
p.s. if Mommy has human babies in your lifetime, please love them.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nuances - Musical and Lyrical

I don't think I have ever met anyone who said, "I hate music." Surely, soulless individuals exist, but fortunately we've not crossed paths. I know that I am not alone in my love for music. It's powers to elicit emotion, motivate rump shaking, and conjure nearly forgotten memories transcend us all. 

I am not certain when I fell in love with music or first obsessed over a song. Pretty sure it was Madonna, Prince, or Michael Jackson that ignited music loving in my soul at a young age -- or maybe it was Kenny Rogers or Lionel Ritchie. I was in love with Mr. Ritchie. I remember asking my mom if I ran into Lionel Ritchie on the street would I call him "Mr. Ritchie" or "Lionel." I was probably about 7 years old.

En route to countless softball practices and games, my dad and his buddy, Skip, (and my best friend's dad) rocked Journey, John Mellencamp (Johnny Cougar,) The Doors, ELO, and Roy Orbison. I knew every nuance of "Authority Song" and "Faithfully." Connecting to one small chord, note, or line of a song made it feel like "my" song. In "Authority Song," for example, the drums beat deep, and then John throws in the "Kick it in." Ahh...I love it. To this day, I love it! Dad, Skip, Kristen, and I would hit the line each time and be pumped up for another softball practice.

The nuances draw me into a song -- I feel something, an actual physical reaction to the song. I can't tell you how many times I have repeated "China Doll" on Grateful Dead's Reckoning -- specifically at 4:15 when Jerry starts into "Take up your china doll...It's only fractured. Just a little nervous from the fall." The harmony on the last part literally melts me.

Similarly, and because it reminds me of the aforementioned Dead line, Ryan Adam's "Two" gets me on so many levels, but shivers go down my spine each time he sings, "I'm fractured from the fall, and I want to go home." Makes me wonder if "China Doll" offered him some inspiration.

Sometimes it's is a guitar or other strings chord that pulls at my heart. I highly recommend the entire Charlie Hunter Quartet Natty Dread album. The "No Woman, No Cry" is a melodic, instrumental treasure. Right at 2:03, Charlie Hunter unleashes magic on his 8-string guitar. I melt. Melt! Another melt-inducer for me is the guitar at 3:00 in The Rolling Stones "Wild Horses" on Sticky Fingers. Don't get me wrong, every other aspect of these songs earn them kudos, but it's these nuances that connect me to the whole.

And, just a few more nuances...
"I'm in love with a girl who's in love with the world and I can't help but follow" -- Amos Lee, Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight
"I dig it when you're fancy dressed up in lace. I dig it when you have a smile on your face." -- Van Morrison, Warm Love
"Love the girl who holds the world in a paper cup. Drink it up. Love her and she'll bring you luck. And, if you find she helps your mind, buddy, take her home." --Kenny Loggins, Danny's Song
"And, I am ready to suffer and I am ready to hope." -- Florence + The Machine, Shake It Out 
I am sap and these songs, tunes, chords, lyrics, melodies, harmonies help me shape my ideal for life and how I want to be treated. How does music affect you and your life?

My theme song:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

First Concert Ever?

I love asking this question. Whether it be in the course of trying to get to know someone or as an ice breaker in a large group, this question get conversations started. And, people love to answer the question and tell their first concert story. It's just a good question. Dad LOVES to answer this question before anyone even asks it. "The BEATLES. Chicago 1965."
My First Concert Ever 
(Technically, I think I saw The Four Tops at a free concert in Indy over Labor Day or something. NKOTB was the first concert I begged to attend.) I remember standing on the seats of the Pepsi Grandstand at the Indiana State Fair trying to get a better view of Danny and each of my other friends screaming for another New Kid. No one seemed to have a crush on Danny. Maybe that's why I did...less competition.

During my New Year's burning ritual, I discovered a whole bunch of concert ticket stubs. Each one represented a special moment in time and brought me right back to the show. Music rocks my soul and a live show feeds it even more.
A Few More Impressionable Shows
Took a while to convince Mom that this was a good idea. Changed my life!!!
An amazing night for so many reasons.  
Vince Welnick, former Grateful Dead keyboardist, kissed me on the cheek!

Happy New Year: Letting Go and Looking Forward

      I have no specific resolutions for 2012 that are strikingly different than most intentions that I have for each and every day already.  I seek to grow spiritually and be the best woman that I can be.  I want to be healthier - physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially...always.  So, I guess my biggest resolve for this New Year is to be intentional in every moment and in every decision while always honoring my authentic, true self.
     Today, I did a ritual burning of stuff.  Stuff like little notes I put in my "God Box." I put thoughts or trouble on paper and put them in this box in an attempt to hand them over to the Universe's grand plan and let go of outcomes I try over-manage -- very unsuccessfully.  I performed this burning ritual last year as well.  This year I burned more stuff.  Old stuff.  Really old stuff that I keep holding onto in my mind and in my heart.  Stuff that really expired many moons ago like love letters from my high school and college boyfriend (Okay, those of you who really know me know that this pretty major. Oh, and don't you miss love letters instead of love texts and emails?! BRING BACK LOVE LETTERS!) I was going to burn other stuff like photos, but my friend Devon asked me if that would omit toxins into the world, and I didn't know the answer to that.  So, I still have a few sentimental photos.
     Honestly, after going through it all, I didn't want to burn it all.  There is definitely something cathartic about burning and symbolically letting go of stuff that keeps my thoughts and heart in the past.  But, I also really enjoyed the little trip down memory lane and had peace in my heart about these little artifacts of my past.  Without burning it all, I realized that mostly I have let go of yesterday, yesteryear, yesterboyfriend.
     I remember enjoying looking through my parents' little history exhibits of past boyfriends and girlfriends, friends at Miller Beach in Gary, and sitting on cool cars.  I want to keep a few of those little artifacts to share with my children if the good Lord ever decides to bless me with a loving, handsome, generous, kind, and funny husband with whom to create a family...still working on letting go and turning that one over to the Universe.

Erin has been house/puppy sitting for the last couple of weeks and Lilli is with her.  Moose is a little out of sorts without his lady.  I took him on two walks today to try to distract him from the pain.