Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When God gives you lemons. . .


Recently my computer bit the dust. After being exposed to my fists, late night triscuit snacking, and random attacks by my nose (laughter, folks) it finally died. I have been occasionally using Robert’s computer, but it’s not the same. I do not like the bare wall that faces me, the glass top that covers his desk or the lack of familiarity. My desk sits across from Robert’s, and even though it’s on the other side of the room, it’s a totally different world. I have colorful metaphysical maps, pictures of my family, an M&M dispenser (very important), random books and journals and most importantly, my Buddha. It’s a very colorful and peaceful world on that side. Robert’s side, however, is all business. He’s usually got multiple computers that he’s working on scattered about. Papers and textbooks take up the rest of the space. It’s an uncomfortable setup for me.
He’s also got the 2007 version of Microsoft Office which PISSES me off. I can’t get through a damn poem or paper without the damn thing changing text, font, spacing etc. on me. Finally there is the problem of actually getting on the blasted thing. If Robert hasn’t done something to the silly thing that requires it to have absolutely no human contact, he is usually on it, working. Because I have no computer I will be blogging quite a bit less until I get one. I will not be able to afford another computer until I graduate college. Why? Well folks, I got fired, so my new plan is to take classes out my ears until I finish this damn thing. Straight through. That means no job. BUT I will get on now and then to keep up with all of you.
Until then, Peace!

P.S. the dogs are fine now

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I cannot take you back to the very beginning of my musical background. I do not know where it even begins. I have known music as long as I’ve known my mother, even before that I’m sure. She knew music longer than she knew herself, and it was through music that I came to know her. It is no big surprise to see music in my actions, only to realize that the music is actually fragments of everyone I know and feel and love passionately. I am reminded of these people everyday when a particular chord, voice, note, inflection or rumble claims me. Often I am shaken. I have felt the cold hands of a dying friend through a song, the kiss of someone wrong, of someone lost, the shudder of a bird’s silent thump on my windshield, violations against my spirit, first dates and cancer smeared goodbyes. I can smell my grandmother’s cooking in the fantastic explosion of violin and piano; her very presence is evident in the melodic quiet of Jim Reeves and the simple power of Patsy Cline. Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Verdi and Dvorak became a part of me through her, and whenever a particular piece is blared or subtly whispered to me I not only think of her, I feel her. This is what music does to me, says to me. It captivates, haunts, thrills and teaches me.

Sometimes it smothers me, and although I rebel against its power, it is without guilt that I admit that I often put myself inside it and do not come out until a part of me is stronger or less foolish. My mother surrounded me with its force but did not use it as a weapon. She fed me lullabies and sad folk songs, and it satiated me. She gave me roots to cling to until I could find and nourish my own. I feel like my mother’s music is a part of me.

My father’s music, however, always felt like something I wanted to be a part of but never could. He is a musician, and not the loud honky tonk bar type, but the real deal. This always intimidated me. Recently I let it go, but when a certain song slips inside me I can still feel the jealousy, the want to be what he wants me to be. It’s a knot of organ chords and sax riffs tightly wound with the veins of a deep and soulful jazz orchestra. Certain songs take me back to the nights I spent watching him play. The bars were always dark and dusty, but the cokes never came without a thick wedge of lime. Even as a child I could see an excitement about my father that rarely existed anywhere else. He was born to entertain, and he did so with crazy gusto. His music provided the information I needed to understand the different sides of him. I thought I knew him through music, but I was proven wrong. Music can only show me who he is when it surrounds him. I barely know the truest part of him, the struggle of melody fighting to take over a human body, and the fight is only a whisper when he is not performing.

My musical tastes vary, and sometimes even clash. So many people have influenced my love for music. My mom gave me the love of folk, of simple voices and funky beats. My father gave me jazz, wailing voices and a hunger for big bands and even bigger voices. A Hammond b3 can put me in my place or take the floor out from under me. My grandmother gave me the power of instrumental magic and the beauty of old time country. Scott introduced me to rap, bass, percussion and lyrics. In my first year of living alone I discovered choral, gospel and hip hop music. I have roots now, and they have nothing to do with me, but everything to do with who means the most.

I have added a playlist at the bottom of my blog with many of my favorites. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

But till that morning there's a'nothing can harm you

It has been a tough but surprisingly satisfying summer. Working 50+ hours a week + tennis + classes was a little on the exhausting side, but I feel like I had a much more productive summer than the last. Would I do it over? Absolutely not. Ok maybe. I feel a lot stronger and confident with not only my tennis game, but also with myself. I threw out my scale at the beginning of the summer and haven’t looked back. My life is so much better without it. Two rootbeers in two days? Sure, why the hell not? I’m not jumping on the scale, only to leap off crying and forcing myself into a brutal exercise regimen. 10+ hours of tennis a week is enough. I am fine with myself right now. Even happy at times.
It’s been tough around here. Sure, there have been a few freebies like new tennis partners and discovering the best rootbeer in the world, but it’s been fairly tough. About two weeks ago Rose started throwing up. This was followed by severe diarrhea. As we scrambled to call the vet Ella lost control too. After calling the vet Robert and I brainstormed, going through everything they could have eaten during the three day period of their complications. It came down to their dog food, Nutro. Robert immediately researched it and found out that there was a problem with the food. Most of the problems (and there were many) were kidney and liver oriented. The first blood tests showed that Rose was fine, with only an elevated temperature, but something in Ella’s kidney levels were raised. We took them back today and Rose is still fine, but Ella’s levels have gone up. No kidney failure, just a high concentration of ammonia. She is taking more medication, which we are hoping will cure the problem. I have noticed a droop to her loveliness, but overall she is acting like a happy dog, joyful growl noises and all. The vet is 100% on our side, which is amazing, because it would be hard to face this alone.
I also have had more trouble with my eyes. I take fantastic care of them so I don’t know what the deal is. White specks keep appearing. I learned today that they’re called corneal infiltrations. Not ulcers like I feared thankfully, but I will have to completely change my contacts and keep wearing my glasses (not a fan).
To top things off I also had a few complications with my job. I’m not sure where I stand with the family although I did absolutely nothing wrong. I only expected to get paid. I’m not sure I will get to babysit for them again. It’s sad enough knowing that I won’t get to see them everyday, but even worse to think I may have lost them.
It’s been a long summer.
Tomorrow I will have a fantastic post. Promise! I will also visit you all tomorrow.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Last week was waaay too long. I played tennis five times, babysat every day (and one night), went to class, hung out with friends both Friday and Saturday night and even managed to flood my boss' house (not my fault thankfully).

Today I am bordering on freaking out and falling asleep. I am slightly dehydrated and sick from eating strange food two days in a row. I also have 4+ hours of tennis and running this afternoon outside in 105+ heat. I can't cancel because I had to cancel on these people last weekend when I was sick. So if I make it through today I am going to take myself to my favorite salad bar and pig out.

Next week should be a tad bit easier.