Tag Archives: Grey’s Anatomy

Just Breathe

30 May


This evening I’ve decided to share a video with you guys.  It’s a little clip from a song.  Unlike the rest of the music I’ve shared on here, this one is of me.  Yep, that’s right… I’m officially going to make my internet singing debut…  Hahahaha.  🙂

Let me back up really quickly.  I have mentioned a few times that my Mom plays the piano.  She got a new one a month or so ago, and I got her old piano.  It’s in my living room, right as you walk into my front door.   That is a picture of it above.  That piano is special.  It holds a lot of memories and meaning for me and for my Mom.  Her parents bought it for her when she was 8 years old.  Her father passed away when she was 16.  I never had the opportunity to meet him (obviously).  This is the piano she learned to play on, and the one that I sort of learned how to play on.  I will admit that as a child and even a teenager I wasn’t very motivated.

My Mom gave me the piano at the perfect time.  I want to learn, at least a bit, although I have no illusions of becoming a concert pianist.  More importantly, I now have a chance to focus on myself.  This is really the first time I have had that opportunity in years and years due to the drama and neediness of my exes (both of them).  I also find myself craving a creative outlet with which to express myself (besides writing here).  Music has always been a cathartic, soul cleansing release for me.  Now I have another medium for that besides my guitar and my voice.  The more options the better!

A few weeks after getting the piano, I realized pretty definitively that I didn’t remember a darn thing about how to play it.  The next time I visited my Mom took me up to her attic and we grabbed some music books.  She also gave me a folder of “secular music” from a band that she used to play with.  I opened it up and found the song Breathe (2 am) by Anna Nalick.  Not only is it fairly basic, it is also on the piano originally which meant I could listen to it a few times to get a feel for it before attempting anything myself.  Finally, the song hit the trifecta because it has been featured several time on Grey’s Anatomy, which is possibly my favorite television show of all times.

The song also get major bonus points were assigned because of the title and lyrics.  Here’s the portion that I sang for the video:

2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song

If I get it all down on paper, its no longer

inside of me, threatening the life they belong to

And i feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd

Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud

And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to

Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,

And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table

No one can find the rewind button now

Sing it if you understand.

And breathe, just breathe

woah breathe, just breathe

I connect deeply with those words.  I am often up late writing, thinking, singing, and playing (like tonight, for instance).  It’s like my brain just can’t stop until I get it out.  I write so many raw, personal things here and share them with people who know me and those who don’t.  I am judged sometimes, but receive support so much more often.  This really is like my diary, though.  When I was writing music (and it has been a while), those songs were a little piece of me.  Now I give that by singing and playing the words of other people that connect with me.  I may even get back to writing one day.  The truth behind this song that hits me more than anything else is we can’t go back, only forward.  It reminds me to take a moment and a deep breath, and keep pressing on with my head held high.

Soooo… after a few weeks of playing around here and there when I had the opportunity, tonight I decided to try recording myself.  I was already filmed once today at work for a video that will be featured at our convention in July, so I figured what the hell – I’ll give it a shot.  I ended up with a pretty decent video.  Only after uploading it to my computer did I realize portrait mode isn’t exactly computer friendly.  A few tutorial videos on the internet later and I had at least figured out how to rotate the thing so people don’t have to tilt their heads sideways to read it.  Just for the heck of it, I went ahead and shot another one in landscape mode, too.

The truth is that neither of the takes are perfect.  I didn’t play and sing the entire song, which I know means that it’s completely useless for almost all intents and purposes.  I mess up some words, and they have multiple piano issues like pauses and wrong notes and inconsistencies.  But I like them.  I like that song.  I like the fact that I made some mistakes, but it’s still beautiful.  I even like that despite the fact that I’m irrationally scared of posting videos that hardly anyone will ever, ever see, I’m doing it.  So if any of you care to watch me sing and try to play the piano in my “READ” t-shirt, here are the videos.  Feel free to let me know which one you like better if you care enough to watch them both even though they are basically the same thing.

And don’t forget, no matter what you’re going through, to stop and just breathe.

Take 1:

Take 2:

Another Reason I’m in Love with Sara Ramirez

20 Sep

Sara Ramirez (EP)

I heard Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol on the radio in the office today.  I had no idea what the name of the song was, and still have absolutely no idea who that artist is.  However, I immediately recognized the song from Grey’s Anatomy.  The Office Manager at work looked up the song and band for me, then I rushed back to my desk to buy it from Amazon.  I listened to the sample, and it’s just not the same.  The Grey’s Anatomy version is about 1,000 times better.  All because of Sara Ramirez and the wonderful producers of the show who wrote a moving story-line.  I get chills every single time I watch the video.

If you’re not convinced of how powerful and gorgeous Sara Ramirez’s voice is from that clip, then you have to listen to her singing The Story by Phil Hanseroth, sung originally by Brandi Carlile.  Again, I have no idea who Bradi Carlile is, but I listened to her version.  Not even close to a comparison.  There is a reason Sara Ramirez graduated from Juilliard, performed on Broadway, and won a Tony!  She is amazing!

Warning:  This video may make you cry if you’re anywhere close to as sentimental as I am.

I can’t say enough about her talent.  And if you are one of those people who thinks she is just lip-syncing or has been touched up vocally like crazy in the studio, watch this video, then shut up.

I really relate to this song, and I think I’m going to have to find the music so I can sing it very, very soon.  These lyrics especially resonate with me:

“You see the smile that’s on my mouth
It’s hiding the words that don’t come out
And all of my friends who think that I’m blessed
They don’t know my head is a mess
No, they don’t know who I really am
And they don’t know what
I’ve been through like you do”

Most people who work with me, see me around, and even a few people that are relatively close to me don’t see what is behind the smile on my face.  It’s not that I’m not happy, but I am much more of a mess than I appear on the surface.  There also aren’t very many people who really know who I am.  That is something I value immensely in my husband.  He knows me, all the way down to my core.  When I’m having a bad day or triggering, I can hold on to that knowledge.  We have been through worse, and we’re growing stronger every day.

I’ll leave you with one more picture of the incredibly sexy Sara Ramirez.

Sara Ramirez modeling at the Red Dress Collect...

Sara Ramirez modeling at the Red Dress Collection charity fashion show to benefit The Heart Truth. Identity confirmed through image gallery at wireimage.com (a gallery of professional photos of the same event that has the models identified). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remembering Pa

1 May

Today I did something that I have been avoiding.  I visited the place where my grandpa died.  To everyone else it’s just a Panera.

The sad thing is when I chose Panera for lunch I wasn’t even thinking about it.  My Mom sent me a quick text invitation out of the blue last night to go to lunch with her and my sister.  She threw out a few choices, and I picked the one that sounded the quickest and healthiest.  You see, I had to be back at work by a set time because I had someone coming in to interview.  I figured seeing the two of them would be a great way to break up the stress of a long day.

Then this morning I remembered.  We were meeting at THE Panera.

The one that I was called to that night in July.

I remember it was a pretty normal night except that my husband was going in for surgery on his deviated septum in the morning.  He and I were watching TV.  While we were fast-forwarding through the commercials (gotta love a DVR), I heard my phone chime from the other room.  It was my missed call/ voicemail sound.  I walked into the kitchen, flipped open my phone (yes, I still have a flip phone), and saw several missed calls.  From my Mom and my Grandma.  There were multiple calls from each of them.  I could instantly feel dread and worry hit the pit of my stomach.

I called my Mom first.  She sounded a little anxious, which she almost never does.  She told me that Pa had fallen down in the parking lot of Panera.  The ambulance had taken him away.  My grandma (Ma) was still there in the parking lot.  When she couldn’t reach me, my Mom called my sister who lives next door.  She was on her way to meet Ma at Panera.  They had taken Pa to the hospital downtown instead of the one that was closer because it was such a serious head injury.  Ma didn’t trust herself to drive there, she was panicking, and my Mom was on her way to take her but couldn’t get there for another 15 or so minutes.  She asked me to drive up there and do my best to reassure and calm her down.  My sister is amazingly kind, a sweet and gentle person but she was probably just as emotional as my grandma.

Ambulance at night

Ambulance at night (Photo credit: Autistic Psycho)

I was in shock.  And I felt guilty because I hadn’t answered their calls earlier.  This was an emergency.  A potential full-blown crisis.  And I didn’t answer because of TV!  It still makes me feel sick.

I threw on flip flops, grabbed my car keys, and told my husband to get in the car NOW.  On the way I listened to the voicemails.  My grandma had called me immediately.  And her subsequent messages were sounding more and more distressed.  Thankfully we live less than a mile from this Panera.  The 2 lights we had to sit through on the way felt excruciatingly, unbelievably long.

It could have been funny if it wasn't so tragic. (Not an actual pic of their dog - from http://mustlovepekes.blogspot.com)

When I pulled up there was no trace of the ambulance.  People were already just going about their evening, unaware that part of my world was crumbling.  I found Ma by her car.  My sister was with her.  She was taking care of their dog, Pokey, who is a Pekingese.  Pokey was in one of those head cones to keep from messing with a rash or some such thing.  Ma and Pa were just coming back from the vet.  They had picked up Pokey and decided to stop for dinner.  And on the way out Pa fell stepping off of the curb.

A quick back story:  Pa was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in February of 2011.  It had spread to his liver, lungs, lymph nodes, and colon.  He had been having regular chemo treatments for a few months by then.  They had reduced a strong, vibrant 83-year-old into a shell of himself.  He had lost so, so much weight.  And he had been falling.  A lot.  In the shower, in the driveway, walking the dog.  In fact, we had made a joke of it at his last birthday and given him a few orange cones and a helmet.  He had a cane and a walker.  He was supposed to use at least one of them, but he was too proud and stubborn most of the time.

He was like that.  A fighter.  Independent.  Hard-headed.  He would take the shortest route to the car, even if it meant walking down the curb instead of going around to the handicap ramp.  And this time when he fell it was serious.  Very, very serious.

When I got to Panera I didn’t know how bad it was.  My grandma was shaking and crying.  I had never seen her so distraught.  I gave her a hug and could feel her small, birdlike bones through her shirt.  She felt so fragile.  And she was sobbing.  In that moment I realized just how defenseless we all are in a situation like this.

My “fixer” took over.  Like Arizona Robbins on Grey’s Anatomy I am “a good man in a storm.”  I held Ma’s hand as she told me the story.  After he fell a girl inside called 911.  She was a nurse, so she did what she could while they waited.  There was a lot of blood.  Pa wasn’t conscious.  When the ambulance came they cut him out of his clothes right there in the parking lot.  In front of my grandma.  They immediately said that the head injury was severe and that they needed to take him to the hospital downtown, which is the best in the entire area for that kind of injury.  They loaded him up and whisked him away.  Just like that.

By the time I had arrived a Panera employee had already used a hose to wash away most of the blood.  Pa’s cut up, bloody clothes were in a bag in the back of my grandma’s car.  I quietly asked my husband to gather them up and take them away.  I asked Ma to go through the instructions for Pokey to keep her mind occupied on something she could control.  I made sure my sister understood.  I told Ma we would find some pumpkin filling for him to eat since that is what the vet suggested (easier said than done in July, I found out later).  I got her breathing calmed down and her sobs turned into sniffles.  I let her know that my Mom was on the way.  I went over the plan to drive her car to my house so that it would be safe for the night.  I reassured her that this was the best hospital and they would do everything they could.

My Mom arrived pretty quickly.  Everything else from there feels like how I imagine trying to walk on the bottom of the ocean would be – slow going, murky, and muffled.  I got a call a few hours later that Pa’s head injury was critical, but they got him stabilized.  The real difficulty would come in the next few hours and overnight as his brain continued to swell and bleed from the trauma.  His cancer and heart medication complicated things because at least one of them contained blood thinners.  He never regained consciousness.  Machines were keeping him alive.  And the next day everyone in the family gathered around to say goodbye.

It was the most emotional 24 hours of my life.

He was (and still is) the best man I have ever known.  His life is inspiring.  I can’t even begin to describe all of his accomplishments.  He was in the Air Force before it even was the Air Force.  He fought in the war.  He worked for the railroad.  He was an airplane pilot.  He was a boat captain and fisherman in his free time.  He had a horse farm for many years.  He was the Wing Commander for the Eastern Division of the Civil Air Patrol.  And he was part of that organization for over 50 years.  He has touched more lives than I can count.

More than any of those things he was the best grandfather that anyone could ever have.  He loved all of his grandchildren so much.  And there were a lot of us.  We all knew that we were special to him, though.  He played games with us when we were little, encouraged us as we grew up, attended every function we ever had, and supported us even when we made really stupid decisions.  He was proud of us.  No matter what we did.  He had little nicknames for all of us.  He was full of stories and adventures.  He was amazing.  Here’s a picture of us together on his farm  with one of the foals who would later become mine.  It is how I remember him still.

I miss him so much.

It was really hard to be back at the spot where he died today.  It affected me more than I thought it would.  Not so much because he is gone.  He probably would have been by now anyway, as my Mom pointed out at lunch.  It’s just one of the only times recently when I’ve allowed myself to really feel his loss.  Actually, my loss.  He is not in pain anymore, but I’m here wishing I could have one more hug.  Wanting to hear one more story.  Wishing my Pa was here to make me feel better through all of this mess.

He’s not here anymore, though.  He did leave me parts of him behind, however.  I’m a strong, stubborn, well-educated woman with a hard head who loves her family.  Just like he taught me to be.

I heard this song today coming home and it brought all of my thoughts full circle.  I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for him.

Something A Little Lighter

30 Apr

There have been a lot of heavy emotions and tough subjects coming up for me lately.  Which means this blog has been a little on the depressing side as well.  I decided on this Monday to give myself a little extension on my weekend and stay away from the serious stuff.  A few bloggers I follow have been take a break to answer some silly questions and let people know a little more about themselves outside of the norm.  I decided to take a page from their books and do the same.  I picked 25 questions from The Other Side of Infidelity and Sunday Stealing that I thought would be fun and interesting to answer.  Here they are in no particular order:

1. What is your most annoying habit?
Probably correcting people.  Or that I hate to be wrong.  Or maybe that I tend to over-analyze and over-think…  Let’s go with all of the above.  🙂

2. What was the last clothing item that you bought?
This shouldn’t be as difficult of a question as it is…  Wait!  Now I remember.  A t-shirt for myself from Woot last week.  It hasn’t come yet, but I can’t wait for it to get here!

3. Horror Movies or Chick Flicks?
That depends on my mood.  A really good horror movie can’t be beat.  I’m really loving zombies at the moment.  28 Days Later has always been a favorite of mine, and The Walking Dead is just spectacular.  On the other hand, a good chick flick can be a nice way to just turn my brain off and laugh – though I’m not sure what qualifies as a chick flick per say.  I just watched Hitch again the other night and laughed until I dissolved into a coughing fit when Will Smith had that horrible allergic reaction.  It still makes me chuckle just thinking about it.

4. What is the most interesting thing you’ve done in the past year?
I’m sad to say that my life right now isn’t terribly interesting.  I need to change that.  Let’s see, though…  The most interesting thing I have done in the last 12 months is take a ghost tour in Charleston, SC.  Or at least half of one (high-heeled shoes are a very bad choice when walking long distances over cobble stones).  It was still very interesting, though.  And almost worth the three silver-dollar sized blisters on my feet.

5. Do your friends/family/coworkers know about your blog?
No.  My husband knows about it, but that’s it.  I wanted to have a place where I could be completely honest about all of my feelings without worrying about judgement.  I also didn’t want to be one of those people who bug all of my family and friends or guilt them into visiting my site.  I like the anonymity of just putting my feelings out into the ether and having them float there unattached to my “real life.”  It also means that I know the people who find me and comment have come across me organically and can relate somehow to what I am going through.  Or that my words drew them in or were interesting in some way.

6. What one thing is on your list to do before you hit 30, 40, 50 or whatever significant birthday is next?
My next “significant birthday” will be 30.  And it’s only 3 years away.  Before that time I hope to have traveled somewhere out of the country again.  At this point I will take anything – even Canada.

7. How long does it take you to write an average blog post?
That’s tough to say.  If I am really feeling my emotions then my blog posts can come up very organically and be done in 30 minutes or so.  But then I try to go back through, edit things, get them making sense, and add a few photos.  Depending on how focused and uninterrupted I am that can take another 30 minutes.  Some days I type and edit and re-type and think things through as I go.  That can take almost all day off and on.

8. What is your bedtime? Is sex always involved?
“Bedtime” is a loose term in my house.  As a rule I like to always give myself at least 8 hours of sleep.  On the weekends it doesn’t really matter where those 8 hours begin and end.  During the week I usually like to get into bed somewhere around 10 to 10:30.  That usually means I’m asleep somewhere around 11 since my brain takes a while to turn off.  Unfortunately, sex is not always (or even usually) involved.  I am very much an evening sex kinda person, but my husband is really not at all…

9. If you had the power to make one thing better, what would it be?
Wow… This is a deep and thought-provoking question.  I think if I had the power to make one thing better it would be true equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people.  There are still so many scary laws all across the country, and especially here in the South.  In my state we actually have an amendment to our constitution banning same-sex couples from getting married.  Even worse than that, they can still be legally fired just for revealing their sexual orientation.  Business are allowed to discriminate against them.  They are allowed to be denied housing.  They cannot adopt children.  If you assault someone based solely on their sexual orientation it is not a hate crime – no matter what you say, do, or believe.  They don’t have the right to visit their partner in the hospital.  And so much more.  It is sickening to me how people can wave the flag of religion and morality to deny others basic human rights.  Now I will step off of my soap box…

10. Introvert or extrovert?
I am a total introvert all the way!  I am reading the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.  It is an amazing look at our society, what it really means to be an introvert, and how undervalued we are in general.  I highly recommend it.

11. What is your biggest fear?
This is another tough one.  I guess my biggest fear is that I am not good enough and never will be.

12. What easily ticks you off (puts you in a bad mood quickly)?
Hypocrites.  Stupidity.  People wanting me to be their brain.  Bad service at a nice restaurant.

13. Dog person/cat person/both/neither?
I am a dog person 100%.  I am unequivocally opposed to anything that shits inside my house and doesn’t use the toilet.  I have only ever made one exception to that rule.

14. Is there anything you have ever regretted writing on your blog?
Nope.  I told myself right a tthe beginning that I wouldn’t hold back and I wouldn’t regret anything.  I don’t feel the need to apologize for my feelings anymore.  I might have in the past, but I am a new me now.  And I’m happy to embrace the beautiful mess that I know I am.

15. Why do you blog?
Mostly to get my thoughts out of my head so they will stop running around in there smashing things up.

16. Which TV character do you think you are most like?
Hmmm….  Probably Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) from Grey’s Anatomy.  Not only is that one of my all-time favorite shows, but the character is so perfectly flawed.  She is strong, intelligent, stubborn, blunt, a perfectionist, competitive, ambitious, and driven.  But she is also vulnerable, a little crazy, bossy, scared to love completely, hurt, and someone who can let loose and dance with all her heart.  She reminds me of myself in so many ways.  And her character has also been dealing with her husband’s infidelity recently.  If you add in a little bit of Callie Torres (Sara Ramírez), then you are getting even warmer.  I really relate to her goofy, girly, sexy, confident personality, her smokey, sultry voice, and her wonderfully curvy figure.


17. What is your favorite type of music?
Country, generally, but I love anything with strong vocals, thoughtful words, and a beat you can tap your feet along to.  See my previous post Music – A Soundtrack for Life for more about my thoughts on music.

18. They say that you learn something new every day. What was the last thing you have learned?
I read a Yahoo article today that said 34% of adults who have combined assets with a spouse or partner say that they have lied about finances, debt, or money earned.  Scary!

19. What can’t you live without?
Down time.  I need time to just do nothing.  Or to read.  Or to just snuggle under a blanket without a care in the world.  I thrive on solitude, contemplation, quiet, and calm.

20. What is your favorite drink?
Water!  It is basically all I ever drink.  Especially now that my antidepressants have ruled out alcohol – which used to be my only other form of liquid refreshment.

21. Any guilty pleasures?
Television.  I’ve mentioned a few of my guilty pleasures already – The Walking Dead and Grey’s Anatomy.  I can spend an entire day on the weekends just tearing through my DVR – Bones, Criminal Minds, The Big Bang Theory, Celebrity Apprentice, America’s Next Top Model, How I Met Your Mother (love it!!!), Judge Judy, Law & Order: SVU, and the list goes on…

22. Paperback, Hardback or Kindle? Which of these is your favorite reading format and why?
I have to admit, this is one area where I am old school big time.  I will take a paperback over any fancy e-reader.  I like the feel of the book in my hands, the smell, the sensation of the paper between my fingers as I flip the pages.  There is something comforting and relaxing about holding a worn paperback with its creased spine and well-read pages.  I have come to associate the smell of old books with the library, adventure, childhood and my Mom’s voice.  Likewise, opening a new book has the thrill of the unknown and anticipation for the world that I will get to explore.  No hard plastic screen will ever compare.  This is one thing that I will never give up no matter where technology advances.

23. Is there a job/career you wanted but realized you couldn’t possibly do for one reason or another?
I dreamed of being a professional singer.  I had fantasies of one day going to Nashville and trying to make it big.  I still love to sing, and I know I have a better voice than a lot of singers on the radio (not bragging, it’s just a sad reality).  I am not cut out for living the kind of life that it takes, though.  I wouldn’t do well taking miscellaneous jobs, working in bars, singing and playing sporadic gigs, and not knowing when (or if) I would ever get past it all.  Plus, I took on a lot of responsibility young – by 19 I had multiple dogs, a long-term relationship, and a house.  Now I’m too old to be appealing to Nashville and too set in my ways to upturn my entire life for something so chancy.

24. Where would you most like to visit and who with?
There are so many places that I would like to visit that I don’t even know how to choose.  I yearn to travel and see everything there is to see.  My husband and I have been wanting to go to Ireland for a while, though.  If I had to pick just one place and just one person that would be my choice.

25. If I could do anything, I would:
Pack a few essentials, sell my house, quit my job, and just take off.  I wish I had the courage to sever my roots, spread my wings, and take on the world.

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