Song Challenge, Day 30

My favorite song from this time last year: "Sometime Around Midnight," by Airborne Toxic Event. I know that because I used the words from this song as a "Song Selection" post on my poetry blog during National Poetry Month, plus I saw them live around this time last year. Bonus: I still enjoy this song!

This ends the Song Challenge journey. I hope you've enjoyed it!


Song Challenge, Day 29

A song from my childhood: "Annie's Song," by John Denver. Really anything by John Denver. I grew up listening to him; this one just happens to be one of my favorites.


Song Challenge, Day 28

A song that makes me feel guilty: "Rootless Tree" by Damien Rice. There are a lot of swears in this song, and I really shouldn't love it as much as I do. However, I do love it. A lot.


Song Challenge, Day 27

A song I wish I could play on an instrument: "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven. (Also, Suite No. 1 in G on the Cello; see Day 3).


Song Challenge, Day 26

A song that I can play on an instrument: I can't really play any instruments. I can pick out some things on the piano, but I generally carry my "instrument" with me. I used to be able to sing this song:


Song Challenge, Day 25

A song that makes me laugh: "Hang Down Your Head, Tom Turkey." Not an inherently funny song, but it IS funny when sung at full volume on my voice mail or in my ear or at random times during the Thanksgiving season, which is something my sisters and I do. You kind of have to hear it, I guess.

No video, no audio. Just use your imagination...


Song Challenge, Day 24

A song I want played at my funeral: "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing."


Song Challenge, Day 23

A song I want played at my wedding: "The Three of Us" by Ben Harper. It's just a simple. beautiful song.


Song Challenge, Day 22

A song I listen to when I'm sad: "How it Ends" by Devotchka. 



Song Challenge, Day 21

A song I listen to when I'm happy: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Iz-style.


"Life Has Loveliness To Sell"

I'd like to interrupt this Song Challenge month to bring you two websites I have found vastly entertaining lately. The first, Letters to Dead People, is just what it sounds like. A few of my favorites:

The second, Five Words Tell a Story, is lovely. It combines words, typography and pictures -- some of my favorite things.

**Title taken from the poem, "Barter," by Sara Teasdale

Song Challenge, Day 20

A song I listen to when I'm angry: "Uprising" by Muse. They say your music should match your mood, and this is good and pissed-off.


Song Challenge, Day 19

A song from my favorite album: I fudged on this one a bit, because this is only one of my current favorites, but "Someone Like You," from 21 by Adele.


Song Challenge, Day 18

A song I wish I heard on the radio: "Don't You Want Me" the Glee version. I have always loved this song (originally sung by Human League). I used to rock out to it when I was younger, and had no idea what it meant. I like it a lot more when Darren Criss and Lea Michele sing it. Just something about their voices; they really work well together. You can judge me if you want...


Song Challenge, Day 17

A song I hear often on the radio: "Marry Me" by Train and "Animal" by Neon Trees. These songs are flippin' everywhere... Thankfully, I don't hate them.


Song Challenge, Day 16

A song I used to love, but now hate: "Almost Lover," by A Fine Frenzy. I'm totally over it.


Song Challenge, Day 15

A song that describes me: "Fat Bottomed Girls," by Queen. 'Cause I am one. Obviously.


Song Challenge, Day 14

A song no one would expect me to like: "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem and Rihanna. I shouldn't like this song, but I do. 

It has some language, so I'm not going to post the video, but you can watch it here.


Song Challenge, Day 13

A song that is a guilty pleasure:"Grenade" by Bruno Mars. It's damned enjoyable, what can I say?


Song Challenge, Day 12

A song from a band I hate: Anything by Nickleback. If you want to listen to something from them, you'll have to find it yourself...


Song Challenge, Day 11

A song from my favorite band: "Hands Down" by Dashboard Confessional. I love Dashboard. It reminds of some of the best times in my life, and I love this song. The video, however, is lame sauce. Sorry about that.


Song Challenge, Day 10

A song that makes me fall asleep: Pachelbel's Canon in D. It makes me sleepy in a good way. I know it's a favored wedding song the world over, but I prefer to use it as Sleepy-time for Teddy Bears music.


Song Challenge, Day 9

A song that you can dance to: "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" by Usher. It's totally catchy!

*This is a hip-hop video. Viewer discretion. Just sayin'...


Song Challenge, Day 8

A song I know all the words to: "Give, Said the Little Stream." 

Seriously, though: I know a lot of songs. I've sung a lot of songs. There are all kinds of words going on in my head. So, I told Jeremiah to help me come up with something random, and we did.


Song Challenge, Day 7

A song that reminds me of a certain event: "One" by U2. This reminds me of Evan Caldwell, standing on my front porch, singing this song and giving me roses one night in 1996.


Song Challenge, Day 6

A song that reminds me of somewhere: "Friday, I'm in Love" by The Cure. When I was younger, my family would go to Bear Lake every year with 3 other families. In 1992, I was nearly 14, this song had just come out, and I was desperately in love with a boy from one of the other families. One day, he and my older sister, Sara, were having a debate about whose music taste was better. He was relentless about this song, claiming it was the most ridiculous thing ever recorded. Sara was equally disdainful about his tastes (rap and hip-hop), and while I was secretly in total agreement with Sara, and very much a fan of "Friday," I had to stand up for him, didn't I? Imagine my devastation when he didn't realize that we were meant to be. I defended his music and he didn't even care! (Oh, to be 14...) Anyway, I am still very much a fan of this song, and The Cure, and this song always reminds me of that picnic table, the smell of sunblock, and the taste of Black Cherry Shasta.


Song Challenge, Day 5

A song that reminds me of someone: The Water is Wide. This is an American folk song, and it reminds me of my mom. She used to sing it to us when we were younger. I can't ever hear this without thinking of her.


Song Challenge, Day 4

A song that makes me sad: Accidental Babies, by Damien Rice. I heard him play this live. It was just him and a piano. It was devastating in its beauty and heartbreak.

You can listen to it here.


Song Challenge, Day 3

A song that makes me happy: Suite No. 1 in G Major, by Bach. I love this song. It's evocative and beautiful and everything music should be.


Song Challenge, Day 2

Your least favorite song: Icky Thump by the White Stripes. It literally makes my skin crawl.


30 Day Song Challenge

I'm going to participate in this. Because I can. And I want to.

Anyway, 30 days, 30 songs that mean/represent/express different things.

Day One: Your favorite Song

This is hard, because I don't pick favorites (You say commitment phobic to the point of ridiculousness, I say fickle. Potato, Pohtahto). So, we'll just say my favorite song of the moment, shall we?

It's this one: "The Cave," by Mumford and Sons. I have to be honest: I like this song in large part because of the banjo. What is it about a guy with a banjo? Hot...


Tender Mercies

Because I will take them where I can find them.

*I had a meeting at the hospital the other day, and as I was walking in, I heard the piano. There is a Steinway in the lobby, and they have volunteers come and play during the day; it helps detract from the whole hospital feel. Anyway, as I came flush with the piano, I looked to see who was playing. It was an older lady, playing -- improvising -- without music. She was playing "I'll be Loving You, Always" an old song (1925) written by Irving Berlin. I could hear the words in my head, which was a nice little reprieve from my own thoughts, but what really lifted my spirits was the look on the lady's face: she was grinning: ear-to-ear, all-her-teeth-showing grinning. She was having the time of her life, and I felt so grateful that I got to participate, even for a moment, in unadulterated joy.

*I could see the North Star the other night. The night was clear and beautiful, and it was bright. It was comforting to be in the presence of constancy. It was more comforting to remember that even though the world is big, and the universe bigger, I have a place in it. I know who I am (which is also a mercy), and I know I'm loved (another).

*The simple joy of a sugar cookie, proffered by a friend. 


Today I'm Loving:

* My eyebrows. My cute stylist colored and waxed them for free! They're a normal shape and all!
* My Kindle. I always love it, but I'm super fond of it today. Probably because I really needed something new to read, and I had oh, so many books at my disposal.
* This song:

* Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. It is good, clean fun!


A Thought

It really sucks, a lot, when you realize that no matter how old you get, or how confident you try to be, or how emotionally strong you've been feeling, there are still situations -- and people -- who can make you feel pathetic; like the pity friend; like you are still, and will forever be, the delusional, fat, geeky, [insert disparaging adjective here] friend whom they are laughing at behind your back. And perhaps they are. Laughing at me, I mean. I can't care anymore. And while I did spend much of today feeling rather "less than," I'm going to be okay. Because I'm old enough now, and brave enough, to tell them to go to hell, with a sidecar of kiss my ass. 

And I think that's amazing. 

An Original

An old friend made this picture for me in assurance that I didn't utterly offend her when, as I am wont to do, I opened my mouth and shared an opinion. It was a kind and gracious thing to do; I'm grateful. And I love it.

Click to view in full size

Thank you, Mary Sunshine


Things I'm Loving Today:

1: The album Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons -- it is quirky, kicky and fun

2: Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna bars -- they are so delicious. I have one every day as my afternoon snack

3: 21 by Adele -- near perfection

4: Audiobooks -- every once in a while, I just want someone to read to me

5: The fireplace in my bedroom -- there are perks to living in your parents' basement...


Everything is Okay

Yes, it has been almost exactly 2 months since I posted something, and that's okay. I'm also going to talk about resolutions on this, the 18th of January, and the month is half over. But, remember from my last post that I said I had some emotional purging to do? It took longer than anticipated. Not just the purging part, but the refueling part. So, here we are. I have emerged, finally, fully, from a dark place.** I feel vulnerable and slightly thin-skinned; wobbly and new. I have a secret, though (one I just remembered myself): underneath that thin skin is steel. I'm vulnerable and wobbly while I work on remembering that it's there, but I'm strong. I am. And I'm not going to feel bad about trumpeting my own horn. I'm strong, and I'm going to be okay.

With this newly rediscovered strength comes determination. Determination to make sure that I'm okay. I've given myself permission, and I've made plans. Most people call these plans "resolutions," but since I have been staunchly anti-resolution for the last decade or so, I'm calling mine "me-solutions." For me, it's not about writing down what I'm going to do every day, or not do every day, or "this year I'm going to..." or "by the end of the year, I'll have..." Because guess what? I'm not concerned about the year. I'm not concerned about "I must do this" or "I must not do that." I'm concerned about being okay; I'm concerned about me: knowing who I am, being happy with that, and finding a balance for my life. If it takes me longer than this year, fine. I refuse to beat myself up when on January 1, 2012, I'm still working on me. 'Cause I'm still gonna be working on me. And that's okay. 

Thus, my me-solutions:

1) Budget. I have one. And it works, mostly. However, I have a tendency towards retail therapy, which can play serious hell with a budget. So, a firm goal for a certain amount in my savings account by the end of the year (some goals require a time frame), and a set plan --already implemented-- for getting it there. A more strict plan, which will restrict my retail therapy-ing. 

2) Food. I have a weird relationship to food. I'm going to figure it out. I will learn to see food as fuel for my body and mind, rather than as the emotional crutch I've been looking for. I also have a plan for this, newly implemented. I think it will work.

3) Balance. I need some. My life has become so work heavy that sometimes I forgot I have a life outside of it. This is the biggy, folks. I'm going to gain a greater work-life balance. (I also have this sneaking suspicion that if I can get this figured out, the retail therapy won't figure so heavily, nor will eating my feelings....) I have a plan for this, too. Several plans, really, to factor in all parts of my life. I will still be working. That isn't going anywhere, and I haven't figured out how to leave it in my office when I leave. I'm praying that these other things will help. I have made time for more communication with God. I'll continue to fulfill my calling in the best way I can. I'll spend as much time with my family as I can. I'll still snuggle with Daisy at every opportunity. I have agreed to tutor a neighborhood kid in reading. I will continue to make time for reading for pleasure. I have found some old crafts I was working on, and started again. I have figured out an exercise schedule. I'll continue singing in my small choir. I will start taking singing lessons again, for the first time since high school, this Thursday. I am terrified and ecstatic. I feel good, friends.

I like my plan. I see balance in it. I see this: "May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself." --Neil Gaiman  

God bless all of you in this coming year. 

**Thank you, from my soul, to my family and friends who have stood by me while I wallowed in that dark place, and for your help in emerging. Thank you for loving me.