Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finish Line

Take a look at my computer screen:

And now, look at little closer:
I'm a winner!!!

I've written 50 new songs in 90 days.  Whew. (It says 52, but one was accidentally duplicated, and the other was just something else.  So really, I wrote just the 50 and am stopping there.)

My 50th songs this year is called Pages and Pages.  
i'm gonna make it to the bitter end without becoming bitter
i'll make it to the finish mark and declare that i'm a winner
i've crossed so many milestones
i've risen from the dead
the only bags i packed were full of words inside my head

i've filled pages and pages to get to the truth
dug up memories hoping they would give me a clue
sordid little details
of unimportant things
forgive me for i've included everything

i'm run down to the ground
and i'm on my last leg
i will crawl in if i have to cuz i've got something to say
but it's a fight down to the finish
and there are ink stains on my hands
i've been alone with all these words about as long as i can stand

i've filled pages and pages to get to the truth
dug up memories hoping they would give me a clue
sordid little details
of unimportant things
forgive me for i've included everything

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I've written all 50 songs for the big "50 songs in 90 freaking days" challenge.  But I'm a little behind on posting them up to the 50/90 website.  I had the day free to do it, and fully intended to. 

But instead, I got uber-busy with laundry, straightening up my studio, looking at how cute my dogs are, and sitting in Starbucks drinking a tea and scouring Facebook for important updates in my cyber-friend's lives. 

The louder the clock ticks, the more I feel like napping.

And the funny thing is, I've done the hard part.  I've written the songs.  I've even recorded all but one of them. 

So I don't really understand my behavior.  But I know that I'll post them before the deadline arrives.  I know the task won't end up being as daunting as I'm making it in my head right now. 

I have to say, the timing really couldn't be any better for this to wrap up.  I just sent off my upcoming CD mixes to be mastered.  And the CD is called "50 Different Ways"~ the song I wrote for the 50th song of last year's challenge. 

Big projects.  Coming to the finish line.  It's a weird feeling.  I'm done!  I made it!  I got here!!  Yahoo!!
But now what?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jury Duty

My jury duty yesterday was really not all that I hoped it would be.  At all.

I did love riding on the DART rail.  I loved not having to drive in traffic, or pay for parking.  I felt so urban!
the highlight of the day- DART rail- yay!
 I reported to the Municipal Court building at 9:15.
the outside of the courthouse is beautiful...the inside, not so much
All the potential jurors, about 60 of us in all, were put in this little waiting room.  Around 10am, some man came in and gave us a 30 minute speech about jury duty, including going through, line by line, all of the things that were in the letter of our jury summons that we had read weeks ago all by ourselves.  He  told us that all the trials in this particular building were Class C Misdemeaners-  usually traffic violations.  How boring! He tried to make it exciting, and I think he loved talking in front of a group, but I was just sad that they had turned off "Regis and Kelly" that was on the TV shoved in the corner of the room. 

Around 11:30, we all were released for a lunch break but were told to report back by 1:30.  So we had a long lunch, which sounds great IF I had  a) a friend to hang out with or b) a book or c)close proximity to shops, or museums.  But that wasn't the case.  There were only a few eating places they told us about that were within walking distance.  I ate a panini at a little cafe, and then sat there, uncomfortably, for as long as I could stand it.  Then I walked around outside, getting yelled at by a construction man for walking where I wasn't allowed.

When I went back to the court building, I felt like I was reporting for Jr. High school detention.

Many of my fellow jurors had shared a table at lunch, so there was a lot more conversation in the afternoon.  And most of it was just complaining about how inefficient this whole jury duty thing seems to be.

I sat between a man with a touch (a heavy touch) of body odor, and a woman that started every third sentence with, "Girl,..." whether she was talking to me, or the man next to me.  It was a very non-gendered "Girl!" the way I've heard some people use "Dude".  

At just a little after 4pm, an officer came in and called out 15 peoples name for a jury panel to be interviewed.  The rest of us were finally released around 4:15.  The court building closes at 5pm, so whether I had been selected as a juror or not really didn't make a big difference. 

Although I did nothing all day, it was exhausting.  Sitting with nothing to do for hours on end can feel like a beating.  And it did.
happily back on DART at the end of my grueling day of jury duty!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Duty Calls

Tomorrow is a big day.  I have been summoned for Jury Duty.  You may think I'm stating this little fact with sarcasm, but really-- I mean it.

I'm pretty jazzed about my important job tomorrow.  I have never been called for jury duty.  Or perhaps I was called, but I have never attended.  The last time I got a jury summons in the mail, it was a call-in situation and all I got to do was phone in at 10am and be told by a recorded voice told me I wasn't needed.  BOO.

The day I got this summons in the mail, I taped it up to my fridge, marked my calendar, and have been counting down the days.  Is that weird?

Today I figured out the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) rail schedule because I'm going to use public transit to get downtown to the court house.  In Dallas, public transportation isn't utilized all that much. I've only taken it once or twice, and never by myself.  Tomorrow, I'll be on the Blue Line, heading south! 

I feel like I'm going on a big adventure, into the big city, to bring someone out there to justice.
I know I might not get selected to serve on the jury, but I'm going to do my best!  I hope this trial is for a very serious crime- like murder.  I would love to be sequestered for a few days, be told not to read the paper or watch news coverage about the trial, and then appear on Nancy Grace retelling my behind the scenes observations.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Before I left for my little trip to Seattle with my brother, I looked up the bead shops in the area.   The first bead store I  went to was okay, but pretty small and just a bit pricey.  I asked the cashier if there were any other bead stores in the area worth checking out and she said there was one about an hour away.  My brother and  looked at each other, shaking our heads and sighing, "Urgh, and hour"  But then she added this bit of information, "It's the biggest bead store in the world."

All of the sudden, an hour didn't seem so far away.  Just an hour, to the bead store mecca of the world?!
So of course, the next day we headed off to Lacey, Seattle to visit Shipwreck Beads.

It's claim to fame is true.  It's the biggest bead store I will ever see.  Over 20,000 square feet of shopping space for bead shoppers of the world.
This is not a store you can just run in and out of.  This is an all-day event!  They even have a place to eat lunch inside because they realize the bead shoppers need fuel to keep going. 
lunch with my my jewelry shopping cart pulled up beside me

We ended up being in that store for nearly 4 hours.  While I shopped, my brother conducted lots of video-taped interviews with other customers to keep himself entertained.  He got caught up on some business calls, too.  And, believe it or not, he even bought some beads!! (Is my brother the greatest or WHAT?!)
most of my purchases of the day!
For anybody out there that loves beading, or even just likes it a little, Shipwreck Beads is well worth the trip.  They have loads- and I mean loads- of beads to look at (and buy!). Their prices seem to be better than most.  Everything in there seems to sparkle- including the shoppers and employees!  Everyone we talked with was so friendly and happy.  If I am ever shipwrecked, I hope it will be at Shipwreck Beads.
even the sidewalk is beaded!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Refilling The Well

I think having a deadline with a creative task has been working well for me.  I've been keeping a pretty good pace, and establishing a practice of churning out new song ideas daily.  Creatively, I've felt pretty stretched.  I have noticed though, a lack of balance in my life.  Searching the depths of my mind for new songs takes up a lot of time for me lately, and has left little time for other things.

Having come this far along (40 songs in 70-something days), it would really wreck me if somehow,  my ideas just dried up and I couldn't make it to the very end. I've been a little crazed about "keeping up" over the past few days.  But really, I've written 40 songs now, since this all started on July 4th.  Even if I threw in the towel right now, (which I am NOT, by the way!) I'd feel pretty proud of my accomplishments.

Maybe the best thing for me at a time like this, as scary as it feels, is to just take a little break.  Get out there and live life a little more.  Have some new experiences.  And take a few days away from all this introspection I've been so immersed in over the past few months.

What a perfect time for a last minute trip to Seattle with my brother.  Just me and my brother.  He invited me a few days ago, and I said yes!  We've traveled together before and have found that we are great travel companions.  I'm accompanying him on a business trip, but the business part of things will be done by about noon on Monday, which will leave us a couple of days of all fun until we return to Dallas.

So I'm leaving my guitar behind.  And my  songwriting notebook.  They'll be waiting for me when I return.  And maybe I'll have refilled my well and I'll have more to offer up....

How do you refill your creative well?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sparkle and Shine

I've now written 38 songs of the 50 songs in 90 days.  Some days I feel like I've exhausted all of my songwriting possibilities,  that my well has gone dry.  But if I'm just patient, something finds it's way to the surface.

This one's called "Sparkle and Shine"...
Very rough, very unedited, as they all are at this stage in my process-

I like the way you see it
The way you make it sound
Something about the music sounds better when you're around

It's just a slight improvement
a subtle little change
There's something more to look at, and I like the broader range

CHORUS:  It was good before, but you've brought a little bit more
                   It was perfectly fine but now it sparkles and shines

It's always unexpected
What you've got up your sleeve
A little bit of magic that I'm starting to believe


The colors bloom
All the stars are out
My heart swells when you're around


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Please Give

Today was rainy, and at times, just cloudy and gray.  It felt like a perfect day to go to the movies.  And so, I did.

I went to a dollar theater near my house.  I've been before, but I don't think I've ever been in theater number 15.  I'm quite sure I would've remembered the odor.  It smelled like a cross between kitty litter, cat pee, and bad body odor. 
my friend's cute cat that does not smell like kitty litter, cat pee, or body odor!
But I really wanted to see the movie I went in there for:  Please Give.  (As in, Please Give my dollar theater a big can of air freshener.) And so, as disgusting as it sounds, I stayed in that stinky theater and actually enjoyed myself! 

I  loved the movie.  Love pretty much anything Catherine Keener is in.  I appreciate that she chooses indie movies, and I really appreciate that she looks her age!  I know in Hollywood, that's a brave thing.  And actually, I think that our youth-obsessed, age-ist culture bleeds out way, way, way beyond Hollywood.  In fact, my friend and I just made a pact the other day to say NO to botox.  But that is a whole 'nother blog...

So back to the movie...I would've enjoyed it way more in my much nicer smelling home.  It's probably out on DVD, or will be soon.  I do recommend it- It's funny, sad, touching, and thought provoking.