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Self-indulgence

February 19, 2009

No one is reading this blog and I don’t care.

This is silly and a waste of time, but fun. Let’s see what I’ve done with myself in these 44 years:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played SANG in a band

4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/Disneyworld
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited LIVED IN Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty – sorta, gazed at Lady Liberty from across the bay
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch-hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted – does a silhouette count?
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale-watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
65. Gone skydiving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

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Rockin’ and Reelin’

August 26, 2008

My new favorite song, Northern Line by Opal:

I’m dreaming on a night train
It’s only been a light rain, and a darkened sky and a starry night
I’m humming on a cold train
I’m singing about the wreck of the Old 97

And I’m walking through this city
I’ll tell my story to the rain
And I won’t come back no matter what you say

I’m feeling no pain
I don’t care if I ever see your face again
I’m riding on a Northern Line
I got no money – but I got a lot of time to spend

And I’m walking through this city
Yeah I’ll tell my story to the rain
And I won’t come back no matter what you say
No I won’t come back no matter what you say

After a recent crash-n-burn with a friend I never dreamed I could have a falling out with, Mr. Twittles suddenly reappeared. An email after months of nothing. Rather than starting another firestorm, I decided to answer with a graceful if non-commital reply. Non-commital seems to be what people want, or at the very least, what they can handle. So that’s what they’ll get until I get a clear signal otherwise. Which I don’t think I’m going to get.

This leaves me with my music and singing, which means more to me than anything. A and I are back on regular rehearsal schedule again, in spite of his job and apartment hopping. I forgive him because he is adrift in the fast-moving stream of life and I’ve been there. I’m pretty sure he’ll settle soon, and as long as he makes rehearsals, I don’t care what he does with his own life, as long as he’s clean and not hitting me up for money.

We will record in mid September. And then up goes the web site. I plan to shoot a lot of video footage, and have music vids on our site.

I have an audition next week for a backup/lead singer position with a cover band. I am making huge strides with the new coach I’ve been working with. He gets pop music, and I am learning how to transform all the training I’ve had into something that works for these genres.

I persist, although my heart is broken.

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I Go to the Quarry for Milk

August 9, 2008

From time to time, I seem to insist on banging my head against walls, and looking for things that I can never have and am not going to get. I’m always surprised at my capacity to do this, over and over again, when I know better.

I’m like a puppy, running towards that outstretched hand that I’m sure is the one I seek… only to have it slap down, hard.

I’ve hit a new low this week, not sure how I’m going to get myself out of this one. I’ve always had a way out before, I’ve had my drugs of choice that always did the trick… but I’m not sure this time. I’ve thought about suicide twice in the last few weeks. I’ve only been down there once before, and this feels lower than that. I don’t think I’m going to do it, but the feeling is real.

I seem to seek a friendship that doesn’t exist. So, examine what you seek, is what they say. I’ve examined it. I don’t think that I’m asking for all that much, I really don’t. And I am disappointed, time and time again. I thought this time I’d try someone I thought I could really count on. Someone who could be there for me.

Perhaps the truth of things is this: no one is going to be there for you. No one. So get used to it. Get used to being alone, ’cause that’s what you got.

Guess I just need to get used to it. No, actually, I am used to it. I just didn’t know that I’d have to accept it.

Good morning heartache
You old gloomy sight
Good morning heartache
Thought we said goodbye last night
I turned and tossed until it seems you heve gone
But here you are with the dawn
Wish I’d forget you, but you’re here to stay
It seems I met you
When my love went away
Now everyday I stop and I’m saying to you
Good morning heartache, what’s new

Stop haunting me now
Cant shake you nohow
Just leave me alone
I’ve got those Monday blues
Straight to Sunday blues
Good morning heartache
Here we go again
Good morning heartache
You’re the one
Who knows me well
Might as well get use to you hanging around
Good morning heartache
Sit down

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Why I Sing

August 5, 2008

I figured something out tonight. I figured out why I love the performing arts so very much. I watched some tap-dancing Broadway babies for a while on TV, and I suddenly realized: it’s not Life, it’s what Life Could Be that I love to see. Sometimes it’s What Life Is — listening to any jazz or blues singer for a while, and you find yourself saying ‘yeah, it’s like that, it’s just like that, and that’s why I feel it so deep…’. But that’s what I love. And that’s why I do it. And that’s why I like to watch it, listen to it, be overcome by it.

Why bother? With what particular arrogance do we find ourselves on stage, thinking we have anything more or better to say than anyone else before?

It’s because we need to know, we need to be reminded — often — that life is worth living. Life, in all of it’s glory, pain, exhaltation, horror, hysteria, impossibility and all the rest. Keep going. Just a little farther down that yellow brick road, surely we’ll find our way home this time.

I am tired. I am lonely.

In the awkward, strange and tragically funny category, I’ve managed to pull muscles in my neck. And some of the stress that I don’t talk about here has exacerbated. I alternate between feeling like someone is strangling me, feeling like I’ve swallowed a chunk of apple and fear that there is something really wrong with me. The chiro assures me all is fine, but I wish this would go away faster than it is.

I had a fun trip to the ENT who stuck tubes down my throat and assured me that my chords are fine. I try to be grateful for that in the hailstorm of chaos and stress I seem to destined to fight my way through. Again.

Singing is a bit on hold as I get through piles of work and waiting for this to clear up.

I am tired. I am lonely.

I write this only to remind myself that I am still here and that for some reason I’ve never really understood… I must prevail.

* * *

I Wish I Was In New Orleans — Tom Waits

Well, I wish I was in New Orleans, I can see it in my dreams,

Arm-in-arm down Burgundy, a bottle and my friends and me
Hoist up a few tall cool ones, play some pool and listen
To that tenor saxophone calling me home
And I can hear the band begin “When the Saints Go Marching In”,
And by the whiskers on my chin, New Orleans, I’ll be there

I’ll drink you under the table, be red-nosed, go for walks,
The old haunts what I wants is red beans and rice
And wear the dress I like so well, and meet me at the old saloon,
Make sure that there’s a Dixie moon, New Orleans, I’ll be there

And deal the cards roll the dice, if it ain’t that old Chuck E. Weiss,
And Claiborne Avenue, me and you Sam Jones and all

And I wish I was in New Orleans, ’cause I can see it in my dreams,
Arm-in-arm down Burgundy, a bottle and my friends and me
New Orleans, I’ll be there

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What Happened

July 14, 2008

What happened is that singing won. For now, at least. I am human, and with a fulltime career that I’m supposed to be taking care of from roughly 9 to 5, there is only so much I can do. I hope so very much that one day I will have enough money and time to spend my days doing nothing but creative work, pure creativity, no more input from clients. A girl can dream, am I right?

The singing has won. If I apply some logic to this equation, I started playing piano at 5 and spent my summer afternoon ‘performing’ for the traffic that rolled by our lovely old century home… music came first, and it is only right that She has won.

The Scottish guy has turned into three, possibly soon to be five bandmates. We’ve done 2 open mics, one good, one disastrous. We are getting better, we write good songs and we’ll have our act together soon.

So much more has happened, but it’s all I have time for tonight.

Oh, and someone very, very special has come back into my life. All I had to do was send an email, pick up the phone… and it’s like the 20 years never really happened. Goblin, you’re a suedehead and I love you forever.

Peace, babies.

Out.

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Progress

May 21, 2008

My screenwriting class continues to go well. I’ve been forced to write an outline, a character arc for my protagonist, and this is of course, is forcing me to start making sense of the scenes that flash around in my head as I daydream about this movie I’d like to write. I now have about 12 pages written total, and couple of sequences that are working really well. It’s a good start.

I’m finding screenwriting is a little bit messy for me. I write scenes that I don’t know will ever show up in the end product. I struggle to weave plot lines in a way that I know will hook and hold a viewer. It’s hard.

Note to self: you are new at this. Give yerself a frickin’ break, yes?

I am having fun though, and seeing my story come to life is a thrill that holds unexpected pleasure, quite a lot of it.

It’s certainly too soon to tell, but would I want to really go for this? I think I would. I really do like it. Just what the world needs, huh? Whoops, there’s that evil green monster, The Voice of Doubt and Uncertainty, trying to rain on my parade again. Get lost, will ya’ buddy? In a permanent way, if you can.

* * *

On the music front, I’ve been singing with a Scottish chap. It’s good and bad. He writes beautiful songs that need work. I convinced him to let me help him edit one song, but I think it’s bugging him. So I don’t know, I might move on. I wish I could decide which one I like better. Sometimes I think I have a nice voice, but maybe nothing spectacular, so why bother? Or maybe, I just really should stop attaching any outcomes to it, and just do it for fun. Because when I can let go and do that, and stop thinking every minute that I have to be a world famous rock star singer or it doesn’t count… then I actually have a really good time.

* * *

I’m getting back into shape. Dropping the salsa class was definitely the right move, but hard on the waistline. But this week I finally started to see my former waist to hip ratio. It’s a lot harder to stay in shape at 43, let me tell you. 5 workouts a week are mandatory. No exceptions. But I just keep saying to myself, if them Hollywood bitches can do it, so can I. Doesn’t hurt that my new dance classes are killer.

* * *

I’ve come to the realization — and I’m really okay with the truth of this — that if I am ever to come into big fat gobs of money, I will not spend it on outrageous consumption of material goods. No, I won’t do that… but I sure as hell will hire a Maid, a Cook and some grunt to do all the crap I don’t ever want to do again like drycleaning, repairing my shoes and paying my bills.

This is what I think about when I’m folding laundry and would rather be writing or singing. Sigh.

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The Return of Mr. Twittles

May 10, 2008

Once on a sunny afternoon in a Big City, I found myself with a friend who listened to me with all of his heart. I’ve not had a lot of moments like that — and I sometimes think not many of us have — and it was an afternoon I never forgot.

I told him all my hopes and dreams, I told him what I feared most (mediocrity), and what I didn’t want to become. I told what I wanted to become, and he believed in me.

I’m not exactly sure why him believing in me mattered so much, but it did. Last night, I finally had the chance to thank him, after 13 years.

Mr. Twittles (not his real name, of course) was a colleague of sorts in the big fat famous company where I’d managed to land a job in my starving, wannabe days. I say of sorts because he represented everything I wanted to be and wasn’t. And he was my friend. And I can’t tell you how good that made me feel. How good it still makes me feel.

I found Mr. Twittles on a social networking site which shall remain unnamed a few weeks ago. I thought he’d moved far away, but as it turns out, he’s been within driving distance all this time. I highly suspect that I could only allow myself to ‘find’ him when I finally felt worthy enough to do so.

Seeing him was as wonderful as it was strange. He is hilariously funny, does one of the best Jerky Boys imitations I’ve ever heard and can go on for hours as if he was one of them. Fortunately, he refrained or I think would have had an incontinent moment. We spent 4 hours over dinner talking non-stop and today I feel like I could have another dinner.

He’s no threat to my marriage, but I’m puzzled as to whether we can really be friends, as much I would like to be. Back in the sunny park days, we had more than one outing together. I’m usually not clueless as to whether a man is interested, but I could never figure his intentions out. He never made a single move, other than an occasional, ambiguous remark. And there was a point when I would have accepted it, had he dared. But he never did. And I didn’t dare either. I knew there was a woman of some sorts back then, but I never had the impression they were really together. Last night he confirmed that they had been which was all the more puzzling. What were those outings all about? Was he simply being a friend? Was he looking for a little on the side? Did he know that what he had wasn’t it? They broke up eventually, and he was devastated. Didn’t date for seven years after that. That doesn’t sound like someone who wasn’t sure about what they had, does it?

Last night again there was another ambiguous remark, something about timing and finding love. I let that serve fly right past me, as I respect him too much to suggest that he was once interested in me.

He’s a question mark in my life, Mr. Twittles. But I’m glad he’s back. I think he’s back, I should say. He said ‘we’ll keep in touch’ as we left, and I hope he meant it but I’m not sure if he did, or even what that means for him.

Is it possible for men and women to be friends? I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t attractive or that I couldn’t imagine us together. I don’t want that, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility, at least for me. But I guess that’s why I don’t dare ever tell him that. I think I’m afraid that he would say, ‘ah, gee no, I… uh… yeah, no’. Part of me would be relieved to hear that so we could just get on with it and be pals. But a part of me would be disappointed.

Are we two ships that passed in the night? I’m not sure.

* * *

I missed my Week 3 deadline for my screenwriting class (dangit!), but finally had a chance today to get caught up. My story is flowing out and I have 9 — count ’em — 9 whole pages of my screenplay written. And at least right now, I feel like the remaining 80 to a 100 will not be as painful to write as I once feared they would be. I completely enjoyed writing those 4 new pages today, and I could have gone on much longer. Tomorrow I will, as we’re now on Week 4.