Posts tagged ‘Music’

Tribute Tuesday: Who/What Would You Nominate?

I’m looking for some ideas for Tribute Tuesday.  What are some events or who are some people that have brought happiness to the world?  Is there a song that lifts your spirit every single time you hear it? (I still need to do “Happy”!)  Is there a piece of artwork that reminds you of heaven?

Or. . . is there a song that sounds good, but you’d like to hear different lyrics?

I’m playing around with some ideas.

What inspires you?

True Colors (and “bad girls”, Asian beetles, and annoying station changes and repeating songs)

"Image courtesy of digitalart /".

“Image courtesy of digitalart /”.

My work is gray, gray, gray.  I’m surrounded by daunting, mountainous gray walls.  I understand why the bigwigs wouldn’t want to put drywall up the sides of the gargantuan warehouse and across that expansive bleak ceiling, but it’s depressing to look at.  The fluorescent lights don’t help.  Have you seen Joe vs. the Volcano? I’m living those opening scenes. If you haven’t seen it, watch it.  And not just because I want you to understand my reference — it’s a cute movie; Meg Ryan plays 3 different roles,  That was Meg Ryan when she was still America’s sweetheart, before she rebelled and ran off with an Aussie.  Another good girl gone bad.  I mean, look at, Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan,  Hugh Grant, Miley Cyrus . . .  I mean, you’ve gotta live your life and find your own way, but I think it could be done a little less painfully.  So, parents, remember, don’t make your daughter out to be your “little angel” unless you want your little hell’s angel flying careening into adulthood, if you know what I’m saying.    

ANYWAY, so there is a rainbow in the darkness of the massive gray walls.  Now that I think about it, maybe it’s good that the walls aren’t white: no Asian beetles.  Those things love white walls, something to do with the white mountains of their native land, or so I’ve heard.  And that warehouse is wide open when the UPS/FedEx trucks are docked.  Can you imagine those walls covered in those orangey, putrid-smelling little bug balls?  Yeck!

So, the color comes in the little things.  Like my coworker’s hats.  The guy who I’m now assisting  always wears a hat.  And the amazing part is that he’s always perfectly color-coordinated; for example, today he had on a purple Sox hat with a matching purple shirt.  I asked him how many hats he has, and he flashed a beautiful smile and said he didn’t know.   He said it’s his thing.  And it is.  And it’s wonderful — a little bit of color in a gray existence.

I have a little bit of my own color.  I get to play music at work, and I finally brought in my iPod and got my “shuffle”d on.  My music is as varied as my coworker’s hats, a little bit of everything: classical, country, musical theater, classic rock, hard rock, soft rock (Oxymoron?), New Age, angry girl, sobbing girl, R&B, jazz, soundtracks, even a smidge of rap and religious.  I don’t like to define myself in one way, and it shows in my listening choices.  You should experience riding in the car with me; I’m one of those people who changes the station every two minutes — not exaggerating — sometimes I change the station in the middle of the song I’m listening to.  Now that I think about it, you really shouldn’t ride in the car with me.

That is the best part of my day: getting to play my music.  Anyone listening can get to know me a little better without me even saying a word.  But you have to get close enough to me to actually hear the music above the huge, whirring overhead fans and the drumming of all of the conveyor belts.  I’m actually grateful for the noise because without it I hear the stereos of the book processors.  The one closest to me blasts her Spanish radio station, and don’t get me wrong, I love Spanish radio (I speak Spanish!), but if I hear the “la la la”s of  “Vivir Mi Vida” one more time, I may pick up one of the processor’s textbooks and start bashing my head with it.

So, I’m grateful for the bit of brightness amidst the gray, a little “la la la” for the blah, blah, blah.

Day 8 and 8.5 on the Road to Happiness

"Standing Girl Showing Thumb Up With Both Hands" courtesy of imagerymajestic /

“Standing Girl Showing Thumb Up With Both Hands” courtesy of imagerymajestic /

1. Health – What’s been great about this week is sleeping in.  I adore staying in bed.  I’m not staying in bed forever, either.  I’ve had something every morning that I needed to get up to.  But being able to give myself the extra hour or two has been the best part of my break.  I wonder if my relaxed state has contributed to my face.  My face is currently the clearest it has ever been, despite indulging in the Easter candy and ice cream.  If stress is ruining my skin, I want it out of my life! Food-wise I’ve been here and there.  Breakfast is always Cinch protein powder with milk substitute (sometimes mixed with fruits and veggies).  Lunch is not happening so much as throughout the day grazing, and dinner varies.  I had some fantastic vegetarian Mediterranean (say that 5 times fast!) cuisine with my teacher buddy a few days ago — hummus, baba ghanoush, pita bread, and falafel.  And as far as exercise, yesterday I doubled-up on exercise (low intensity);  I had yoga and took Bowser for a walk.  Today I walked Bowser again, and the weather was amazing.  Sure it was gray and windy, but I love the wind.  There’s something truly spiritual about it, and I always feel like Pocahantas — like the spirits really are communicating with me — as I throw my arms back and let my hair fly.  What’s also fun about wind is that it makes the trees come alive.  Instead of landmarks along the path, the trees seemed really alive to me today, solid, strong creatures who sway in the wind.  I remember reading an article on “How to Be a Treehugger”, and it suggested finding your tree and returning to it again each time you visit the same place.  I think I found one that appealed to me — but  I wonder what Bowswer would make of my treehugging.  Oh, and I saw a heron flying overhead today.  My birds are back. 🙂

2. Creative Time/ Me Time — I finally got a videoblog done.  I researched videoblogging (“vlogging”) a bit — it was fairly amusing, and I may blog about it later — and when I was satisfied I had enough to get started, I tried to set things up. I worked on the lighting and dressed so that I didn’t look like I’d been hanging around the house all day.  Then, I experimented with my iPod and Brian’s Flip Mino.  Since my research suggested that sound quality was of top priority, I opted for the Mino.  But what left me near smashing things last night was trying to actually set up the camera.  I figured I had some decent ingenuity and could find some substitute for the tripod I didn’t have — my music stand seemed to fit the bill.   The problem was that I wanted everything perfect for my video introduction into the on-line community, and that had to mean the tilted-down angle and more of my body with less of a close-up on my splotchy, makeup-free face.  (Hey, I love my face, but everyone looks funky with the wrong angles and lighting, right?) Unfortunately, my music stand is meant to lean up toward the musician — so one can see the music. . .  and I didn’t want to strap the camera to the other side and risk breaking the Flip Mino for the sake of vanity.  Last night I finally gave up and went to bed angry; I knew I wasn’t getting anywhere.  Today I decided just to get ‘er done.  I adjusted the height of the stand and set it on the table,  and at least got some background and a bit of my neck and torso (as well as my full head), and I wadded up one of Brian’s socks and rubberbanded it to the middle of my stand so that the Mino could lean forward while still nestled against the support.  Still dangerous, but it worked for now.   I am now waiting for my video to upload on the site, and I’ve been waiting for the last 10 or more minutes. (How long is it supposed to take to upload my video?  This is my second attempt, and I know little about these things. . .  Round and round the waiting icon goes. . . When will it stop?  Nobody knows.  I could write a blog about frustrations with technology.  Or maybe a song. . .  I’m getting dizzy watchin’ it. . .  waiting. . .)

3. People —I suffered not being around too many people yesterday.  I got to hang with the yoga crowd for an hour, and then I was on my own.  Brian had a Shaklee event, so I barely saw him either.  At first I felt really empty last night, but then I got over it.  Got some grading done and messed around with videoblogging.  Tonight I’m going to a spring party, so I’ll have something to blog about tomorrow.

4. Being in the Moment – I think I’m doing better here.  I’ve really been more in touch with my emotions and have been more aware of my actions and reactions.  Lately I’m feeling the onset of fear and dread at returning to my regular work schedule.  It’s like I’d forgotten the stress that I feel on a regular basis, and at the end of the week now it’s all come rushing back to me.  (“Oh yeah, there it is!”)  I’m determined not to let it get to me, though.  I will own my own life.  No, I own my own life.  I also own my own time.  Today I did much better with saying “This is what I’m going to do right now, and I anticipate it taking this amount of time.”  I was able to get some realistic accomplishments done and was early to work again.  (The arriving right on the minute things is not how I want to do things.)

5. Life Purpose –  I looked into music therapy a bit yesterday.  I tried the Music Theory discs that my mom had lent me, but they were too outdated for my current operating system — the discs are from 2000.  Today my sister lent me back my old computer and one of hers to see if they might work there.  I also researched which schools have music therapy and what the program entails.  It looks like there are a few options: a 2nd bachelor’s, master’s (but I think I don’t qualify), and an equivalency — since I already have a bachelor’s.  The closest school is 2 hours away, with a few 3 or 4 hours away (including nearby states).  So, if I really go for this, this could require some big changes.

Days 6 & 7 on the Road to Happiness


“Rock Style Woman with Headphone” courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / 

1. Health – I’ve been back and forth on this one.  Losing some sleep because of karaoke; karaoke’s liquid diet is not so great for me either.  Besides karaoke and Easter candy, I’ve been faring fairly well.  I had a bit of ice cream for the first time at my friend’s house today, so I feel like I’ve officially fallen off the limited sugar horse for this week.  Exercise has been on and off.  I missed it today but got some Zumba in yesterday.

2. Creative Time/ Me Time — I think Game of Thrones would count for this.  Though today I was grading as I watched, the creativity of the show is still inspiring, even as I work.  Yesterday I was sucked into the living room couch void and didn’t feel like I got much work done nor explored my creativity.  I CANNOT do anything beyond TV watching in that room.  Nothing happens there.

3. People — I love the new karaoke crowd.  They are probably not people I would normally hang out with on a regular basis, but they seem down-to-earth, friendly, and fun.  I got to sing “It’s Your Love” — a Faith and Tim duet — with someone I barely knew from karaoke, and it was awesome.  (I also sang “Somewhere Out There” again with one of my regular karaoke buddies and some other songs solo.)

I visited one of my teacher friends again who just had twins.  Her daughters are seriously ridiculously adorable.  And they are still at the age where they like to be held, so that’s wonderful.  My friend and I are at pretty similar places in our lives (minus the twins), so I feel like we can relate to each other.  Spending part of the day with her today reminded me of how important it is to get out of the house.

4. Being in the Moment – I’ve felt a little less in the moment and in touch with myself the last two days.  But I have been in the moment enough to enjoy the simplicity of a baby’s life, to take note of my ranging emotions, and to observe my “stuckness” yesterday (when I couldn’t get myself to work nor play and sat paralyzed on the couch).  Maybe I can’t meditate for long periods of time, but I can feel the benefits of even centering myself for a moment.  Immediately I sigh, taking in a deep breath, which in itself is a blessing.

5. Life Purpose —I talked with Cindy, my coach, yesterday.  I had it set in my head that I was going to do retail.  I was going to start retail and find my way.  She asked me how I felt about it, and I was noticing a blob of depression sinking down my chest.  I told her I felt a bit depressed, and she asked me to go into it more, and I got choked up and could barely speak.  I told her that it felt like I was lost and I knew it would be a pay cut, and that things could be a struggle for us for a while.

I think my fear and Cindy’s concern is that I’ll get in a rut again, as I have with previous positions.  Retail is fine – and I remember that I’ve enjoyed working the cash register and interacting with customers in the past – and I may work it for a while, but it’s not my final destination.  And I need to keep working toward that final destination or I know my soul will cry out again.

So, Cindy brought up music therapy.  I’d considered it before.  I’d first become aware of the profession when I’d read the book Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult.  I wasn’t sure I could do what the protagonist was doing, but I was definitely intrigued.  I looked into the profession on-and-off, but wasn’t interested in learning music theory.  I’d never wanted to major or minor in music because of music theory, so I didn’t think I’d be interested now.

But I think I’m going to give it a shot.  I love music.  I love performing it; I love listening to it.  It moves me in a way that nothing else does.  I’m also very interested in healing, in helping people.  Music therapy seems a natural marriage of the two.  And since therapy has been an interest of mine for some time, this may be just the entrance I need into it.  I have a musical background, so I won’t feel like I’m diving into completely new territory.

Is Your Life “For Rent”? (Today’s Inspiration by Dido.)

"Pink Flowers Growing On Rock" courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/

“Pink Flowers Growing On Rock” courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/

An interesting progression today led me to Dido’s “For Rent” and the tears that are now streaming down my cheeks.  I was thinking about jobs again,  jotting some things about work that I enjoy and that are meaningful to me.  Somewhere along my Facebook perusals, checking my mail, reading a bit about the law of attraction, and pursuing music to listen to while grading, I came across an advertisement for Dido’s new CD.  I love Dido!  I have two of her CDs that someone gave to me long ago.  I looked into her bio to see if she’d had any other CDs put out since then, and listened to samples of those songs.  I enjoyed listening to them and decided I would put Dido on shuffle this morning.  As I was pouring a glass of water in the kitchen I was suddenly jarred by these words: “I’ve always thought that I would love to live by the sea.”  (A recent obsession of mine.)  Transfixed, I listened to the rest of the lyrics, and something stirred inside, and I came undone.

“I’ve always thought
that I would love to live by the sea
To travel the world alone
and live more simply
I have no idea what’s happened to that dream
‘Cause there’s really nothing left here to stop me

It’s just a thought, only a thought

But if my life is for rent and I don’t learn to buy
Well I deserve nothing more than I get
Cos nothing I have is truly mine”

Why am I settling?  Because I’m still a prisoner of my thoughts and fears.  But I have hope that I will soon be free.

Dancin’ in My Underwear

"Legs Of Woman" courtesy of luigi diamanti /

“Legs Of Woman” courtesy of luigi diamanti /

I’ve been trying to exercise every day, and it has led me to get at least 4 days in a week, so that’s a good thing!  My exercises of choice have been yoga, Zumba, the elliptical, walking, and my latest – domestic interpretive dance; i.e. — dancin’ in my underwear.

That’s right. I like to boogie in my undergarments.  On some days when I don’t have early morning teaching, I lower the shades, shimmy down to my comfies, and turn up the “workout” itunes playlist.  Sometimes I really have no idea what I’m doing; sometimes I go with what feels right; sometimes I incorporate some Zumba; other times I use white-woman’s-club-dancing (overbite may be included).

It’s not usually as good a workout at Zumba and the elliptical; it’s not as bendy as yoga; and it’s not as outdoorsy as walking, but I think it incorporates a bit of all of those exercises, and it is definitely the most fun – and the most convenient!  No attire required, no leaving the house required, minimal set-up required (hit play), and no dog accompaniment required.

So, if you’ve been hit by a blizzard, your Xbox is malfunctioning, and you don’t have any exercise equipment, consider creating your own workout.  I think you’ll enjoy it. 🙂

Wouldn’t It Be Nice

"3d Man With Question Mark" courtesy of Master isolated images/

“3d Man With Question Mark” courtesy of Master isolated images/

Last weekend I went downtown to Chicago with a friend for a tattoo appointment.  (Related post to follow soon.)  I was inspired to write this post from what I saw at the tattoo parlor and the vegetarian restaurant, Chicago Diner, where we went for dinner.

Imagine a World:

where people can go to any job with whatever hair color and hairstyle they want.  People can show their tattoos and piercings; people can wear whatever clothing they want.  They can listen to whatever music they want, and it will be “good music”, as long as they like it.  People can have whatever religious beliefs that they want, any political opinions — or any other opinions — that they want, as long as they don’t force them on other people.  People can comfortably eat what they want and have any body type possible — without judgement.  They can comfortably have any sexual orientation that they want and be any gender that they want.

People can have any type of educational experience and past job experience, as long as they are committed to and qualified for their current job.  And they are chosen based on being the best qualified, not because they are friends with the boss.  And they keep their job because they did their job, not because they’re good at office politics.

People can have any hobbies that they want.   They can have whatever movie and book interests.  People can have any bad day that they want, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their work and with the lives of others.  They can take breaks if they want, as long as their work gets done.  They can eat anytime during the day and go to the bathroom anytime during the day.  If there’s no work to do, they can do something pleasurable, like read, write, make a phonecall, surf the web, go for a walk, stretch, etc.  If they don’t have anything to do the rest of the day, they can go home.

People can take sick days anytime when needed.  They get 3 months worth of vacation time — as long as they have a full year working with the company — and they can take it during any part of the year (as long as it can be worked out fairly among the employees). They can get any health care they need, including preventative health care and natural health options.  Everyone gets two bonuses at the end of the year: one for the worker, and one to be used for the worker’s charity of choice.

Bosses trust their employees.  Employees respect their clients and each other.  Employees feel respected as the person they actually are, not for individuals that they are pretending to be.  They leave their work rejuvenated, happy to work the next day.  They don’t even call their work “work” because they love what they do.

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