Wednesday, May 30, 2007

TV Detox

My detox is well underway. Okay, it's a little bit underway, but I like the way that opening sentence sounded.

Other than during my wait to get my state inspection sticker at Firestone today (2+ hours, thank you very, very much!) where I ran out of reading material and then was sucked in to the Weather Channel, I haven't watched any tv in the past couple of days.

I figure, if I ever want to take the pledge of "No TV", now is the time. Rosie is no longer on the View, so I no longer have an interest in their "hot topics", Grey's Anatomy is in reruns, American Idol is over, and Workout just finished its current season as well. So the shows I LOVE aren't around right now anyway.

I just read somone's blog, ironically, about their weekend with no tv and how well it served them. They had comment from lots of readers about the evils of tv.

So let me first defend tv viewing: I find LOTS of things on tv valuable. I LOVE to sit down and watch one of my favorite shows. (Grey's, The Office, Intervention, The Dog Whisperer to name a few-) And with DVR/Tivo, I shave off a lot of viewing time by forwarding thru the commercial. But I recognize I watch more than I want to. So just like my Diet Coke experiment, I'm planning to not watch tv for about a week and then decide what I want to do about my consumption. I don't think I'll ever say, "No TV Forever More!" But I DO think I'll find myself a lot more productive and creative in the evenings if I fill my time in other ways. But sometimes, I don't want to be creative, I don't want to be productive- I just want to watch TV!

I don't want to be one of the snotty people who seem to think they are above it all by saying, "I don't even own a TV" I not only own a TV, but I own a BIG screened one and am damn proud of it. But I want to be mindful about all of the choices I make from what I eat, to what I spend my time engaged in.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Why I May Never Eat Another Banana

Up until just a few hours ago, I was a fan of the banana. I eat them many mornings before my run. I like the predictability of bananas- If it looks good and ready, it is good and ready.

But after the events of this evening, I may have eaten my last banana.

I woke up with a headache. And all day long, I've had it... lingering. Sort of like a rattle in the car on a long road trip. Every now and then a great song comes on, or you're somehow distracted and forget about it but the rattle is still there. That was my headache ALL FU#*ING DAY.

But by the time evening rolled around I started feeling nauseated and just SO sick of the headache. I then asked my husband at what point of an intense headache do you realize you might be dying and should call 911. Of course, he thought I was being a little dramatic. But I have heard the warning before: If you experience the worst headache of your life, you might be having an aneurysm. But since I'm diabetic, I decided to check my blood sugar first and see if that might have something to do with this agony. It WAS a little low, low enough to explain why I felt so gross, so I ate some candy. Still low, so I ate some oatmeal. Still low, so I drank some juice. And took some aspirin, which does nothing for my blood sugar, but I was just in agony and it seemed like the thing to do.

STILL my blood sugar was low. So I ate one banana. TWO banana. THREE banana... And now, finally at 1:15 a.m. my blood sugar seems stable enough that I can sleep thru the night without the fear of slipping into a coma. YAY! Super cool. I feel great. And if I have to have any more sugar, especially in the form of a banana, it could get really ugly.

But tomorrow is another day. I can't blame the banana. The banana was my friend tonight...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Idol Prediction

I'm going out on a big limb here to make my American Idol winner prediction before the big show tonight. The big show that will probably be 2 hours long when really just 5 minutes would suffice.

Jordan will win. How could she not? Is this really even worth watching? This has got to be the least competitive Idol finale so far.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Learning Curve

I just bought a brand spankin' new Mac and new music/recording software, Pro Tools.

Learning ProTools SHOULD be "easy" because up until now, I was using Cubase, which is similar. But when it comes to this kind of stuff, there is no "easy" for me.

So I got a book that gives me little bity learning exersize to do to learn about my Pro Tools in a very simplified way. My goal is to just get thru one chapter a week. Week one is done! But I got a little bogged down once I moved on to the next chapter. The task of the day was to download a drum loop and then get it in my file and make it play! I've been following the book's step-by-step directions but the book's steps are not matching up with my steps! My husband, witnessing my meltdown, advised, "Just skip that one...You don't use drum loops any way, right?" I then went on a tirade telling him that I can't move on to the next exersize until I do this one. Drum loops have become so essential!!!

I don't know why I feel this so strongly, but I do. I think if I skip any of this basic lessons, I will never understand the software. And more than that, I just find it so frustrating to not be able to figure something out. It's insulting. This is sort of a book written for "dummies" like me, and if I can't follow along, than what exactly am I? I want to be a dummy and nothing less!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mom's Garden

On our way to meet my husband's mother and family for a Mother's Day meal, my husband asked if I wanted to drive by my "old" house...The house I lived in since 2nd grade that Mom and Dad lived in up until Mom passed away 2 years ago. I was curious to see how things had changed.

Right as we pulled into the neighborhood I felt so sad. Just feeling deeply how much things change in 2 years. It's Mother's Day and I'm not spending the day with MY mom. The neighborhood that had been a part of my life forever was no longer mine at all. Dad's living in some other house that doesn't feel like my home, and I guess never will.

My mom and dad always had beautiful flowers, and gobs of them, planted all around their front and backyard. They won "Yard of the Month" more times than I can remember. It even became a family joke because they won it so many times. Today, for the first time EVER, I didn't see ANY flowers in the yard.

My favorite part of Dad's NEW house is this beautiful little garden he's created around his side patio. He was showing my brother and I all of the new flowers he had just planted when we were over there just last week. He told us the garden is his special place at the house that he will always keep blooming flowers and other beautiful plants in to honor Mom, hoping that she sees it, and thinking of her when he's in it surrounded by all that beauty. Even before he told me that, it's the place in his house that somehow does feel like home to me. It must be because I can feel mom when I'm there.

Mom and Dad no longer live at my childhood home. The flower's aren't living there either. But they ARE over at Dad's new place!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Flipping Off and Nose Picking

Yesterday I met my family and a couple of our friends for lunch. My Dad said he got "flipped off" in the parking lot as he was pulling into his parking space. Of course, his version is that it was no fault of his, that the "flipper" gave no indication of wanting the spot or anything. I'm sure there's another side, but that isn't the point of my blog today.

The point of my blog is this:
Isn't it amusing that people will do things like that in their car but they wouldn't do it OUT of their car? Very much like nose picking!!! I see people way too often picking their noses while in their cars, but seldom see it done publicly anywhere besides that. I guess it's just the protection of the windows, and the ability for a quick get away.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

What a Concert Should Be

I went to one of the best concerts I've ever been to last night. Damien Rice at the Majestic.

Here is what I LOVED about it...

* He performed the songs differently than their recordings. At first, I was a little disappointed to see that his harmony vocalist that I LOVE wasn't there. But it ended up making it so much more interesting...just seeing what he would do with each song.

*I love the way his songs usually start off quite and mellow and then swell to something entirely different.

*He used effects on his acoustic guitar that I had never heard before!

*He recorded stuff he was doing and then dubbed it in during the show...sort of like KT Tunstall's schtick but so much more interesting.

*He played a relatively short set. Left me wanting more!

*For his very last song, Cannonball, he and his band performed unplugged. TRUELY unplugged. Oh my God.

I have his 3 cds and love them. Love him. But this concert experience made me love him even more. My husband and I talked about the concert on our drive home, telling our favorite parts, what we thought was cool, etc. And I'm still thinking about that concert the next day. THAT is what a concert should be.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Virgie!

My friend brought his Mom up to hear me sing this Friday at Cafe Lago. She was such a cute lady, the kind of lady you just feel like you love upon first meeting. She was visiting from Oklahoma because she was having her birthday party on Sunday. She told me when and where her party would be and invited me to it.

Normally I wouldn't crash a birthday party, but I had such an urge to go.

So I got there and realized it was really quite a family reunion. I saw my friend's mom, the Birthday Girl, right away- She greeted me just as I came thru the door, so welcoming! I almost felt like I WAS family! She told me her son/my friend was running a bit late and wasn't there yet. After about 15 minutes of just looking around and realizing, "Okay, I'm NOT family and really, WHAT do I think I'm I doing here?" I walked back over to the BG (that's short for Birthday Girl from here on out) and said, "I just wanted to drop in to say Happy Birthday, but I think I'll be going now" but she said, "Oh no honey! Please get something to eat..." (I think she urged me to get food and cake about 5 times during my visit- That's what moms do whether it's your own mom or someone else's.)

Just at that moment I saw someone I knew- Someone I just love who was actually the photographer for the party. So I stuck around. And then I saw another person I knew that was the caterer! (Go figure...) And then my friend, the BG's son, showed up. And suddenly I was feeling like I belonged.

It was the BG's 80th birthday party. And what a party! People drove from Kentucky, Oklahoma, and who knows where else- it was very clear this lady is very deserving of that kind of attention. We sang Happy Birthday and she blew out her candles. And then she made a very gracious and sweet little speech. And she got teared up when she said she was so happy so many people showed up. And I was so happy to be a part of her big day! And to think I almost talked myself out of it. I LOVED getting to see a big family get-together like that. And I loved hearing what the BG had to say. What I gift I was given...

Friday, May 4, 2007

How Old Do I Look?

I would never ask that question. The answer would either insult me if the guesser guessed too high, or I'd think they were an ass-kisser if they guessed too low. I generally avoid the topic when it comes to MY age.

But yesterday it came up- TWICE. First, with a friend that just recently turned a certain age. She was telling me things she has noticed as far as aging. Something about feeling her face droop. (Crazy. Yes, I told her.) Then she said, "Ok, so I forgot you're (age I won't repeat...)?" UMMM. No. Her guess was 5 years OLDER than I am, 2 years older than she is. Thanks. I called her a bitch and our lunch date was soon over.

Then, later in an email conversation with an entirely different person, out of curiousity I had asked the person their age (stupid of me, I know), and after answering he then guessed mine. Correctly. Which still feels insulting. Because I think if I were to guess someone's age, I'd guess on the low side so I was sure not to guess too high. (And because, apparently, I'm an ass-kisser.) So the fact that he was right on target makes me feel haggard. And made me realize, he's just a bastard.

I try to embrace my age, but COME ON! I like to think I look a little YOUNGER than my years. But maybe the guesses were what they were yesterday because of something other than my looks- My wisdom. Yes, I'm sure that was it...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Restrained View To the World

Today while I was walking one of my dogs, we saw another dog going crazy in its front yard. From a distance I just saw a large-ish white down barking and jumping up off the ground. I knew he was tied up because clearly, he was restrained or would've been over to see us. Killing us, or kissing us, I'm not sure.

I felt so sorry for him (or her). And I said to Scout, "Why do you think those people tied him out front like that?" Probably Scout had the answer, she just couldn't tell me.

Finally, we got past the dog, and he calmed down a bit. Which was good because he was more or less foaming at the mouth at that point.

Then we came upon a lady pushing her baby in a stroller looking over at the dog. I just told her he seemed to be tied up with some kind of rope. I then added, "I'm not sure why they (as in the dog owners) put him out there like that-" and the woman replied, "I guess so he'd have a view to the world."

A VIEW TO THE WORLD. Are you kidding me? What kind of pleaure is that? To be tied to a post and only being able to move about 3 feet while all sorts of things pass you by. Have these people heard of dog walks? Or the dog park less than a mile from the house? What if a mean stray dog approached this dog? Not cool doggy parenting in my book.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this dog loves being tied up like that. But if he likes that, think of what a dog walk would feel like!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Dreaming the Possible

About a year ago, I performed at Uncle Calvin's. They record all of their shows and so I started bugging them to please send me a copy of that performance. I received it in the mail earlier today. The main reason I was so eager to hear it is because I got SO lucky that night to have met a really talented cellist, Dirgie Smith, who was actually there to accompany Pierce Pettis. After I gushed to her about how much I love the cello, she said she'd play on a song if I wanted her to.

So I asked her if she'd play on one called, "Not Enough Time" which is a love song about my mom and my dad. I can remember when I was performing it that night, feeling so emotional and barely being able to control my voice. So I wanted to hear how it all came out. When I was actually THERE, I sort of had to tune out and remove myself from the scene so I wouldn't start bawling.

But today, I got my chance. When I got to the part of the performance where Dirgie joined me, I sat down on my couch and really, really tuned in this time. And as expected, I was soon crying like a baby. (My dogs, Zoe and Scout, got up from their naps and came over to comfort me as soon as my crying became audible, by the way- I LOVE those girls!) First of all, the song means a lot to me standing on its own. But then to hear that cello come in to the song... And it brings me right to that moment on stage as I heard her- The cello just goes right to my chest. It's beautiful and it's sad and it expresses that song just perfectly.

As for the cracks in my voice brought on by all of the emotion, instead of not liking it or being uncomfortable about it, when I heard the recording today I actually loved it for all of its imperfections and all of its emotion. And I am so proud of myself for pulling it off and actually getting through that song.

That one was by FAR my favorite song of those I performed that night. And I think its because of the cello. It makes me realize how much I want and maybe NEED the cello on some of my new songs that I'm getting ready to record. I've been saying it for a while now. Even before I met Dirgie. And I said it during that performance that its a dream of mine to have a cellist accompany me.

It was so nice to have that recording arrive today. To remind me of one of my dreams. Clearly, not impossible...