Sunday, February 28, 2010

Goodbye, Winter Olympics

The closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics are on later today.
I love the Olympics. This year, I missed the first 3 or 4 days of coverage due to losing our electricity at home.  But then I jumped on the bandwagon as soon as I could.

I set my DVR to record the Olympics each day so that I could speed though the commercials and blow through some of the stuff I wasn't as interested in. But my gosh! It's still a LOT of t.v. to watch. Especially when you also factor in that American Idol is on 3 nights a week (although, the 3rd night is sort of a bust since it's just the results show and I can just look that up on the internet and save myself a complete hour!), and I am knee deep in the drama that is Celebrity Rehab.

So, to be honest, I'm glad the Olympics have finally come to a close. And it coincides with the rising temperatures we're bound to be feeling as the calendar page turns to March, here in Dallas anyway.

I'll miss you Apolo.  Yes, I will. You were absolutely thrilling and it's because of you that my favorite winter sport to watch is short track.

Other than that, whew!  Enough, already!  I need to get my own life...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Music Monday- Jonatha Brooke

I would say of all the musicians out there, I probably love Jonatha Brooke the most.

She plays most of her songs with altered guitar tunings which makes for a bit of a different sound than what is mainstream. And I'm not such a fan of mainstream. In fact, that's another thing I love about Jonatha- She has lots of fans around the world, but still somehow, she's a well kept secret.

I think, altho I certainly don't know, Jonatha probably has a pretty cool life. She's a successful musician that tours (although not crazy long tours) all over the world and is very well respected, and yet remains relatively unknown and doesn't have to mess with all the weirdness of being famous.

I saw Jonatha perform a few times live, and it coincided with when I was first starting to play out myself. When I felt nervous about getting up to perform, I would just pretend I was Jonatha for a few minutes, until I calmed down and found my own confidence.

I have every cd she's ever made, and I love them all. It's hard to even tell you which one to buy first, so instead I say: BUY THEM ALL NOW!

This is one, just one, of my favorite songs of Jonatha's....

Because I Told You So

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thrifty Thursdays- THE PUBLIC LIBRARY

You can't get any thriftier than FREE!

I have written about my fondness for the Dallas Public Library here several times before, and it certainly deserves a mention on Thrifty Thursday.

Let me try to convince you to go get a library card today, if you don't already have one.

If you're lucky enough to live in a big city, like me (Dallas) you're really in luck. There are so many branches in Dallas, that it really doesn't matter what my home branch has on the shelf. All I have to do is login online, type in the book title I want (or DVD or CD title, for that matter) and it will be shipped to whatever library I request and held for me! Sometimes, if it's a new popular title, I have to wait. But I always have so much stuff in my queue, it doesn't even matter. I love getting the little message on my answering machine telling me I have a book ready for pick up. I love it even more that it doesn't say which book is waiting for me...So there's the added excitement and surprise when I pick it up. (Although sometimes it can be a dissappointment.)

You can also use the free WI-Fi at the library. You can pretend it's your office, which I think a lot of unemployed people seem to be doing these days. I know for me, I tend to be more productive sometimes when I work away from the comfort of my home (depending on what I'm working on, that is).

There are also magazines there. Oddly, you can check out old ones, but not current ones. Seems a little freaky deaky to me, but they can make weird rules if that makes them feel better.

The bottom line is...It's free! You get to keep books for 3 weeks. And if you want to renew them, you can do it again- 3 weeks at a time, up to 100 renewals per item! (Unless some other library whore is on the waiting list for what you've got checked out.) You can be lazy like me, and just do it all online.

So here's my method... When I'm running low on ideas of books to read, I go to Amazon and type in a title of a book I've already read that I liked. Then it will have some little section like "People who bought this book also liked these books..." Then I just put the titles in a search on the Dallas Public Library website, and then BAM! I request a hold. It's as easy as that!

Or, if you don't feel like doing it online, a librarian can do it for you at your library. Just tell her the title you want and she'll request it for you.

So really, don't you think it's about time you got yourself a library card and used it?

No One Else Around (... and my Taylor NS62's Debut!)

I GOT MY NEW GUITAR TODAY! I ordered it just before Christmas, but Santa's Elves were a little slow. But it was worth the wait. I'm in love.

I have an older Taylor Nylon guitar that you have seen in many a post here. It's my go-to guitar. Those nylon strings are just so comfortable! So I decided I might as well have the exact one I want. My intention was to sell the one I had, and buy this new one. But I can't imagine letting go of the other one, which is by the way named Carlita. Carlita's been with me thru thick and thin, and she's co-written lots and lots of songs over the years. How could I just sell her off to someone else? Instead, I've decided to keep her. She can be my traveling companion whenever I go out of town. She's got a few bumps and scratches so I don't have to be over-protective with her.

This new guitar has been a lesson in patience. So I'm trying to think of a name that represents that. And also represents her beautiful tone. Her factory given name is Taylor NS62. I'll let you know her REAL name soon.

I play only Taylor guitars. In my opinion, they are the BEST guitars. And I've got 4 of them. I love them all. And they all have their own special qualities. Don't ask me if I have a favorite. Like a good parent, I love them all... (Okay, but my Doyle Dykes, re-named Scarlett is quite special!)

Without further ado, let me introduce the newest member of my family, accompanying me on a song I wrote (with Scarlett!) last night...

There might be crowds of people all around
Cuz the place we live in is that kind of town
But with us, well, it's just you and me
Two really is the perfect company

(Chorus) And it feels like there's no one else around. Yeah, it feels like there's no one else around.

I could talk to you until I run out of air
The perfect place with you is anywhere
You think I'm funny and you think that I'm smart
You listen and you laugh at all the right parts


You're the first thing and the last thing that I see
How could we be so lucky that's it's just you and me?


The way you look at me just lets me know
and you don't even have to say so
The way your eyes are staring back at me
I know that they have seen eternity with me


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Men of Snow

We're back to clear, sunny skies and the snow has melted away in Dallas. Well, pretty much, anyway.

In all of my life, living in Dallas, I've never seen such a snowfall. I can remember when I was a little kid and we got quite a bit of snow, but still, not as much as this time around!

I was in heaven when it was first falling. My husband and I took our Siberian Huskies on a walk. Little did they know, they were born for that kind of weather...and then some! But my girls have acclimated to Texas weather...they like the sun, the heat, and they like to come inside and lay by the fire when it's cold outside.

I built a little snowman. I just did a little one because the snow was so heavy that it was hard to roll it around without hurting my delicate back. But my little triangular snowman stood sturdier than his bigger snowmen friends that my neighbors made. The bigger they are the harder and quicker they seemed to fall.

We went to FlagPole Hill Friday morning and went sledding with our neighbors.

There was a downside to this snowfall. Lots of big tree limbs fell. And lots of people lost their power. We didn't have electricity for 4 days. All the fish in our big saltwater aquarium died. That was really sad...

Today, 5 days after this snowfall, there are a few snowmen still hanging on. They're in pieces, and they're limbs have falling out...but they're still there.

I've heard it said we'll likely never seen another snowfall like this in our lifetimes here in Dallas. That makes me sad. And reminds me how fleeting things are...
(Before you go, please click below to hear Ingrid Michaelson sing "Men of Snow". It's beautifully sad...)

Get Up and GO

I've got to get cracking on these 14 songs- I have about 8 or 9 written, but haven't recorded many of them. I lost power at my house for about 4 days, so I was a little out of commission. Anyway, hopefully I'll be posting up lots of stuff here over the next 2 weeks!

Here's today's song, written earlier this morning. And yes, I was still in my pajamas when I wrote it. But I DID put on my shoes and go for a run (and then showered) by the time I did the video!

I'm sure I've had enough sleep
Over 8 hours with plenty of dreams
but still, I'm not refreshed
I'm not motivated to even get dressed

Sometimes I wonder where the time goes
Summer is over, it's started to snow
Now it's too cold to get up and go

I've got to get something done
Get out the door and go out for a run
The day is almost half thru
I'm still in my pajamas and watching YouTube


I better just put on my shoes
and make up a list of what I'm gonna do
Cuz I could stay here all day
But where would that get me and what would they say?


Monday, February 15, 2010

The Great Unknown

In my other blog, I wrote a post the other day about the question, "If there were no criticism or praise, who would you be?" This song came from thinking about that...

I worry too much and I think too hard
It's difficult to follow the leading of my heart
I second guess each step I take into the street
So I'm forever tripping over my two feet

It's hard for me to know which way to go
Out here on my own, and all alone
The great unknown

A little inspiration, somebody else's praise
Gets me up and going for days and days and days
Until it feels like judgement that I don't want to hear
I get stopped in my tracks and frozen in my fear


If I could ignore
The critiques in my head
If I didn't listen, who would I be then?


Music Monday- L.O.V.E

Because of a snow "storm" we had here in Dallas late last week, we've been without power at our house since Thursday. It was all fun and games in the beginning, but it didn't take long for us to get sick of the cold darkness that our house quickly became. Fortunately for my husband and I, we've got great friends that are letting us stay in their warm house! And...they've got free WI-FI! So I don't have to neglect this week's installment of Music Monday- YAY!

As I write this on the eve of Valentine's Day, I picked my very favorite love song that I associate with this day-- This version by Nat King Cole is still the best one around, in my opinion!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'll Never Make Sense of Some Things

It's a whisper I hear when there's nobody there
It's the way my voice breaks when it mentions your name
It's the pink in the sky that catches my eye
as the suns going down while the world spins around

I'll never make sense of some things
Maybe it's intended that some mystery remain

It's the thought that arrives dropped out of the sky
and straight into my hands when I'm needing a plan
It's the stars and the sun and the way we're all one
It's the place that we go when we are gone

I'll never make sense of some things
Maybe it's intended that some mystery remain
I'll never make sense of some things
Maybe it's intended that some mystery remain

Thrifty Thursdays- Rethreads

Have you ever shopped in a resale shop?
I used to, years ago- But then stopped going for some reason. I just sorta forgot about them over the years. But I recently rediscovered this passion. There are a few good consignment shops in Dallas. I'll tell you about one in particular today... Rethreads!

Rethreads has both women's and men's clothing. Tons of great designer labels, gently worn by other people first. What you save in price makes the hand-me-down idea oh-so-acceptable!

On a recent visit, I got this sweater, by Alberto Makali. It was priced in the store for $45, but everything in the store that day was an additional 20% off because it was the first weekend of the month! (That's your additional Thrifty Thursday tip!) So I got it for a grand total of $36. I don't really know how much it would have cost me if I bought it new, but I can tell you, it'd be too much for me to feel happy about, and so I never would even buy it.
I also got this cute little shirt by Bebe for only $8! It would have cost me at least $10 if I bought it new. (Just kidding!)
I love digging around for a good bargain. LOVE IT. I can't stand shopping at the mall and seeing the same stuff over in over in all different colors and sizes. I love finding unique stuff with small price tags.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Words

I've got the melody and I've found all the right chords
I've got a love song for you
but I can't find the words
To tell you how I feel
and to show you what you mean to me
To sweep you off your feet because that's what you do to me

But the words they won't show up
I guess they know that they would never be enough
So the words they just don't come
Still I keep on looking and I don't plan on giving up

If I only had a phrase
the perfect little rhyme
I wouldn't hold it back
No, I would not be shy

I'd put it in a song
And I'd write it in the sky
I'd sing it from the rooftop
Whenever you walked by


I hope I think of something
Before my time runs out
Like the Sonnets from the Portuguese
or something equally devout


Who Would You Be?

I read Jonathan Field's blog, and today he posed the question, "If there was no criticism or praise, who would you be?" He answered that he'd basically be doing what he does now. That's a great realization.

For me, when I think about this, I guess my answer is similar. I'd still want to write my blog, and write songs, and play music for people- But I'd like to be fearless and do it on a bigger scale. That's my truthful answer.

So then the next obvious question is, what keeps me playing my life so small? And maybe the truth of it is, ultimately, I sorta like it small. But at that same time, I'm constantly daydreaming about something bigger... Hmmm.

How 'bout you? If there was no praise or criticism, who would you be?


Well, just wanted to say, I am ON this 14 songs in 28 day bandwagon. I just am having a bit of a youtubing problem. I upload my videos, and it says it's there, but then I can't find it to copy and paste it to my blog.


So, just wanted to apologize for the delay if you've been checking in on me. I've written 4 1/2 songs so far, and I've tried posting my 2nd one, but have run into this glitch. I hope to soon have it squared away, so please check back in a day or two.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Music Monday- Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson

I have loved Ingrid Michaelson since she had that song of hers used in an Old Navy commercial a couple of winters ago. You probably remember the one, "If you get chilly, here take my sweater...", she sang. She's got a way with a catchy hook for sure.

Since then she's put out a couple of CDs. The newest, and most current one called "Everybody" is great.

I recommend buying the whole CD, but if you want to just download one feel-good, happy song that will get you moving (especially on a Monday!), go to the title track called "Everybody". It's so catchy, you'll be singing along almost immediately. And I think you'll agree with what Ingrid sings...Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Just let the love, love, love begin...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Make No Bones About It

That's right, folks- I skipped this weeks installment of Thrifty Thursday- I am so sorry. Next week's will be worth the wait!

I've been a bit distracted by two things, both involving bones.

First of all, as I was cutting thru my neighborhood's wooded area to my running trail earlier this week, I saw the police taping off a section of it. Then I saw a man who looked like the stereotypical homeless man standing off to the side.

I asked him, "What's going on?"

And he answered, "Dead body. I found a dead body. I was digging thru a big trashbag and a big jaw bone fell out."

So, it sounds like he didn't so much find a body, but the remains of one. Either way, it's a little creepy. Actually, more than a little.

The police said, along with lots of bones scattered around, they found identification of a woman who had disappeared back in June. Oddly, nothing about this has shown up in the newspaper since this happened on Tuesday. Does this kind of stuff happen more often than I realize?
(This is my photo of the scene of the crime!)

I've never felt ultra safe passing thru that area, so I take off my headphones and I pay attention to who and what is around me. This trail is very near a Dart Rail station, and I've heard that can bring riff raff into new areas. And by riff raff, I guess I mean drunk fishermen peeing and pooing along my little hidden trail (which I have written posts about somewhere in the archives of this blog!), a prostitute (which my neighborhood crimewatch sleuth told me about), and a few other "suspicious looking characters" that aren't typically in my neck of the woods, so to speak. I just think of the Dart Rail as a means of transportation, but didn't realize it just might be increasing the crime in my neighborhood, too.

Anyway, I'm feeling a little at odds about these bones. Apparently, coyotes and whatever other wildlife hang around there have scattered the bones around quite a bit. Did someone just dump the bones there? And why? Who was this lady who disappeared in June? I feel like people in our neighborhood deserve a little follow up from the Dallas Police Department. And it also seems the Dallas Morning News would've run a story about it! Isn't this news??

The second reason for my lack of focus on my Thrifty Thursday post this week: I did something insane to my lower back. And what's insane about it is, I don't know what I did, or when I did it, but I'm moving around like someone who had a major injury in some kind of high speed collision. Honestly, I think I might have done it just by taking my guitar case out of my car.
(This is not a picture of my back, but does illustrate my area of pain!)
Bones. Bones. Bones. This week, they're not so lovely.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Falling From a Pedestal

I've written a few new songs in the last few days. This is the 3rd one of my burst...
As always, these videos are raw, and full of mistakes- a new song in it's beginning stages.

You're looking at me like I've got the answers, you're looking at me like I know
This faith put in me, well where does it come from? and where is it gonna go? uh-oh...

I try hard to measure up to the standards and make it thru all the tests
I'm not really sure that I'm gonna make it, but honey I'll do my best

Cuz falling from a pedestal seems a long, long was to fall
Yeah falling from a pedestal- that's a long, long, long, long way to fall...

You're counting on me to handle the details, you think I've got them figured out
It's a balancing act, and I'm walking a tightrope, where there's no room for doubt


I'd like to climb down from these dizzying heights, and check out those valleys below
Maybe we'll see things that we've never seen when you found out that I don't know


You're looking at me like I've got the answers, you're looking at me like I know
This faith put in me, well, where does it come from? and where is it gonna go? uh-oh....

Monday, February 1, 2010

Music Monday "Hard Times Come Again No More"

This is a song written a long time ago- Way back during the civil war in fact!

It was written by a man named Stephen Foster in 1854. Since then, it's been covered by a whole lot of people. Recently, for a Haiti benefit, Mary J. Blige covered it. But the best version, in my opinion, is the one I'm going to post here today. This cover of "Hard Times Come Again No More" is performed by one of my all time favorite musicians, James Taylor, and cellist Yo Yo Ma. Oh, how I love the cello...

Anyway, like I said, it's been covered by many, for good reason- What a beautifully sympathetic song. One more person will be covering it soon... Can you guess who?