Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Farewell Olympics 2008

Whew! As much as I loved watching the Olympics this summer, I'm sorta relieved it's come to an end. It's kind of like if I had been on a 2 1/2 week vacation that was a blast. But all of the sudden, I'd start to feel an itch for getting back to my normal life. Or in this case, regular programming and not so much of it.

I recorded ALL the Olympic coverage and then we'd watch it all at night. We'd, of course, speed thru and skip certain events because otherwise we would've literally done NOTHING besides watch tv during our waking hours. But still, it was a big commitment. Lots and lots of hours of serious, dedicated tv watching.

There were so many great moments we got to witness. After the Olympics ended, NBC showed a montage of the highlight, and the unfortunate lowlights for some. Watching all that emotion is such a beautiful thing.

Then abruptly, NBC cut to a big, loud commercial advertising the new season of "Deal or No Deal". And that beautiful montage moment was clearly a thing of the past.

The Olympics are over for 2008. There were lots of champions from all over the world to inspire us all. And so many of them live right here in the USA!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Boy A

I went and saw "Boy A" at the Inwood theater today. Partly because I was interested in the movie after reading some reviews, and partly because I wanted to check out one of the Inwood's upstairs theaters after seeing Mark Cuban talking about it on a local talk show.

The movie AT LEAST equaled, and actually surpassed my expectations. It was so well acted by the actor, Andrew Garfield, who that plays "Boy A". It's the story of a boy who did a dreadful childhood act to another child and was sent to prison. The movie begins as he gets out and is taking on his new name and identity so he can live life safely- I won't give things away here, but his crime was seen as so heinous, there's lots of people out there that would rather see him dead.

Since he was convicted at such a young age, he's still quite young even when he gets out. I would guess early 20s? Anyway, it was an interesting and sad movie. Really, really great. But since it's not a big Hollywood movie, not nearly enough people will get out to see it. And that is such a shame.

The Inwood Theater is such a step back in time, and I have always loved that about it. They recently updated some things, and one thing they did was to put big leather chairs with side table in the upstairs theaters. But I had envisioned something more akin to a Lazy-Boy recliner. These were still basic movie theater type seats, but leather, or something that looked like leather. And there were little table to the side in place of about every 3rd chair. It was slightly more comfortable than the average theater but not really as great as how I interpreted Mark Cuban's description. But hey, he owns the place- Of course he's gonna sell it! Like I said, I love the Inwood, and always have. In fact, I love it so much, I'm glad it's really not any different now after all!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Waiting and Hoping and Tweaking

The print shop is now printing out my cd covers. Everything has been recorded and mixed. And it seems my cd is only about a week away from popping it's head out into the world.

As I wait on the part I cannot control or do myself, I keep listening to my song mixes and making slight adjustments. I think I could go on forever with this. And I wonder at what point will I feel I can just walk away?

When I write a song I don't have this problem. When it's done, I know it's done. But this is not the case with mixing the recorded versions of my songs. It seems like a hamster wheel I'm on. One little tweak to a song only leads to the need for another little tweak. (And I am, by the way, aware that "tweaking" also refers to meth-amphetamine use!)

Soon, I know it will be time to just put it down, and walk away. My tweaking will have to stop soon. And hopefully, no permanent damage will be done.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Usually, I find myself running OUT of the rain. I use an umbrella, or wear a raincoat and I seem to be running around like That Girl everywhere I go.

I am so glad we've finally gotten some rain this week after a hot, dry summer. But as usual, I've been staying out of the rain. On Monday morning, I didn't even go on my morning run. By about 7pm, I was feeling stir crazy and sluggish and since there was a little break in the rain, I decided to go for a run.

It was sprinkling a little bit, but I had on a cap so it wasn't bothering me. The sprinkles got bigger, and finally turned into rain. It all happened so gradually that by the time I was running around in the heavy downpour, it never even occurred to get out of the rain. I just kept running.

Eventually, every stitch of my clothing was soaking wet. Water was running off the bill of my cap, and my shoes and socks were squishy. But I wasn't running to get out of the rain. I was just running in it. And I didn't melt!

When I returned home, Fermin was actually driving in his car trying to find me, thinking I had been caught in the rain. And I guess I WAS , but surprisingly, that wasn't a bad thing. Just squishy.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympic Trampolining

When the Olympics first started over a week ago I, like the Olympians themselves, dedicated myself to really focusing my full attention on the events and the athletes over the next few weeks.

It's hard to keep up with it all. Fortunately, my DVR helps me out by recording ALL of it, and then I am able to blow thru the commercials and a few events that hold the least amount of interest to me.

Thru my dedicated watching, I've noticed a few events I never knew were Olympic sports. Like Badminton, Table Tennis, and Trampolining to name a few. Had someone said to me, "I was the Gold Olympic medalist in Trampolining in the 2004 Olympics, I surely would've thought they were kidding, or they were talking about a different kind of Olympics. But it's true. Trampolining exists in the Beijing Olympics.

As far as I can tell, based on what's been shown so far, there is no Squash in the Olympics. Even tho Squash seems like the more popular international sport, apparently, Trampolining is much bigger around the world.

I use to have a trampoline when I was a kid. I could do a one and a half- meaning, I did could do one forward flip and then land on my stomach. That was my biggest trick. However, had I known I might have been an Olympian, I might have tried further developing my skills.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

One-Upped with Sheryl Crow

If you read my blog last week, you know about my extravagant date I planned for my husband and myself that involved ice skating. I must tell you how glad I am I set the bar so high for date planning.

Fermin surprised me with great tickets to see one of my favorite singers of all time, Sheryl Crow! What was great for us, but not so great for Sheryl, was that the tickets didn't sell so well, so Fermin was able to get great seats for only $40 each! Nearly half of what face-value was.

Sheryl is so cool and seeing her is worth far more than just the $40. The first time Fermin and I went to see her was when she toured of her second album and the Wallflowers opened up for her. Of course, she was great, but then she was off-the-charts-great when we saw her years later for the C'mon, C'mon tour. She was a ROCKSTAR at that point. I remember she wore her Red, White and Blue sparkly pants and opened up with the "Steve McQueen" song. She had changed a bunch as a performer in the years between those two concerts.

And then, we saw her at the Austin City Limits Festival in Austin. It was back when she was dating Lance Armstrong. I remember, he brought a guitar out to her.

Now, just a couple of years later, we saw her at Superpages/Smirnoff/Starplex. And she is still just as great but you can tell, she's been thru a lot of changes. Now her songs have a strong political message. And she's allowed to get away with it because, well, she's Sheryl Crow. And because she's smart enough to sprinkle in stuff like "All I Wanna Do", and "Soak Up the Sun", so it doesn't too heavy for anyone.

Sheryl adopted a child over a year ago, after her bout with breast cancer, and her break-up with Lance. So of course, she would have some strong feelings about messages she wants to put out into the world. I so admire that she's not just about writing hit songs, but about singing songs that have significant meaning.

I LOVE Sheryl. It's great to have such a cool FEMALE musicians to be inspired by.

Fermin likes her too, but I know he got those tickets knowing how much I would LOVE getting to see her. It was really such a surprise and I was so happy! I have to admit, Sheryl is even better than ice-skating at the Galleria! Way, way better.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

No Man Is An Island

I am a singer, a songwriter, and a guitarist. But I am so NOT many of the job titles that I try to do in order to do what I do. I'm not a booking agent. I'm not a sound engineer. I'm not a roadie. I'm not a graphic designer. But yet, sometimes, I find myself doing these careers that are NOT my thing and that I have very little talent or skill for. Either because I don't have the budget to hire someone who knows what they're doing, or because it just seems ridiculous to not try to get the job done myself, and because it's hard to ask for help.

And then in the middle of it all, I realize I am insane for thinking I could do it myself.

So the cd that coulda, shoulda, woulda been completed over a year ago is still struggling to get out. And the project I started off loving, is growing into one I'm barely even liking, and getting closer every day to hating.

One day, and hopefully soon, this project will be complete. And hopefully it's one I'll be proud of. And if nothing else, perhaps it will have taught me some lessons that will help me out for "next time".

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I am a creature of habit. So it can be easy to fall into a rut. My husband and I have fallen into a bit of a rut as far as the things we get out and do together. So last week I decided to take us on a different date than any of our usuals.

I decided, being that it is so hot, to take us ice skating at the Galleria. The last time we went skating was during the '98 Winter Olympics, after watching figure skating and thinking we needed to get out there and work on our triple lutzes. The Olympians made it look easy. Mostly what I remember about that particular skating session was falling and slamming the back of my head on the ice which caused a headache that lasted for hours. Possibly days.

Well, the Olympics just started, so it seemed like the right time to go back for more. Although, it's the Summer Olympics this time. And none of them are skating. But I thought skating sounded more fun than gymnastics. This time, I wasn't under any false impressions that skating would be easy. I just wanted to skate. Forward. And upright. It's been about decade since either Fermin or I got out on the ice.

I didn't tell him what I had planned. I started to feel a little nervous on the drive over, worried he might think my idea was stupid. He kept guessing what I had planned. Eventually, as we neared the mall, he guessed...Ice skating. He seemed not all that excited, but not too miffed either. He did, however say, "But I don't have socks." And I said, "Oh, yes. You do. I handled it."

We were on our way! When we went up to rent our skates, Fermin asked when the Zamboni was going to clean the ice. We decided to eat at Mi Cocina first, while we watched our competition skate for a while before the ice got wiped fresh and clean.

About 90% of our competition consisted of kids under the age of ten. This made me nervous.

But since we didn't start skating until about 9pm, at least some of the youngest skaters had cleared off and gone home to bed.

We were sort of vulnerable together as we started out. Altho I was, at first, "on the rail", Fermin encouraged me to turn loose. And I did! The longer I skated, the more steady I felt. I even got bold enough to grab Fermin's hand when I heard the Beatles singing "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Had there been a couple skate like in the good ol' days, who knows what might've happened.

No falls, no headaches- and no triple lutzes either. Just a really fun, non-rut date on a hot summer night!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Neighborhood VIPs

In my neighborhood we have something called VIPs- Volunteers on Patrols. It's neighbors who have gone thru some training with the Dallas PD that slap some sticker on their car occasionally and drive around the 'hood looking for suspicious behavior. The premise is a good idea, however, given a small amount of "power" some of these VIPs can become quite overbearing.

Yesterday I was standing outside talking to a neighbor while he took a break from mowing his lawn. We saw our across-the-street-neighbor drive by with his 16-year-old son in his car. His son has his driver's permit and was practicing driving.

Shortly after they passed us and gave us a wave, another car drove up quickly, rolled down his window and yelled out, "Do you know the driver of that car?"


He told us he had just called 911. "Why?" we asked. "Because a CHILD is driving that car! And they're just CIRCLING the neighborhood!"

When we esplained to mr. VIP altho yes, he was a child, he WAS with his parent, and he DID have a permit, it was clear he doubted us. The conversation quickly turned ugly as my lawnmowing neighbor made some comment like, "I think you just need to go on about your day, sir"-

It was really so gross to see this slobbish guy driving around just looking for "trouble." And thinking he had found it in a 16-year-old boy practicing his driving in his neighborhood in the middle of the day with his dad. I'm pretty sure 911 has bigger fish to fry.

Based on the way mr. VIP reacted when we told him it was a neighbor that we knew, and that it wasn't anything suspicious, he didn't seem to want to drop it. It seemed more about being in a power position than wanting to make our quiet, safe neighborhood even safer.

I called my neighbor to alert him that he and his son had the fuzz on their tail. We all had a good laugh over our neighborhood VIP. Sorry 911. Hope you had a slow day.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Back to the Grind

My neighbors have returned from their trip, which means my vacation is over. I was in charge of watering their plants. Which also put me in charge of swimming at their pool each day. Sometimes a couple of times a day, actually.

A few days, I took Zoe and Scout over there with me. My girls are NOT big fans of water. But they are big fans of ME, so they followed me to the pool for the first few days. After a couple of days of 150 degree temperatures, they told me they'd rather just stay inside our air conditioned house than sniff around in someone else's yard.

It's not that I'm a big swimmer. Or a sunbather. But I'm a reader. And I'm a napper. And really, that's what "being at the pool" is all about. But it sounds less lazy to say, "I hung out at the pool for a couple of hours today" than "I read a page of my book and then napped on a raft for 2 (or 3)hours."

The napping was absolutely exhausting. I had very little energy most of the week beyond just walking diagonally across the street to my neighbor's pool. WHEW! And all that plant watering! In the evenings, I was usually too tired (and too prune-y) to take my typical 45 minute bath.

They've returned from Florida, and I've returned to a more normal routine, which no longer includes the 2 hour naps at the pool.

Tonight I went over to their house to return their garage door opener. They gave me a "thank you" gift for taking care of the plants. A candle, and a book I've been wanting to read. Believe, me- I deserved it! It was hard, grueling work!

Anyway, vacation's over. Now it's back to my bathtub!