Tag Archives: Singing

Progress

20 Apr

This last week has seen some significant progress in my world.  The papers were officially delivered to Chris (a.k.a. Mr. Mess).  I have an appointment for a deposition with my lawyer.  The ball is rolling, and things are going in the right direction.

School has been busy, but good.  I’m learning quite a bit and enjoying the ability to stretch myself.  There was a work trip that took me away for the weekend during a time when I had a lot of work to do for school (3 papers).  It also coincided with a surgery that my dog needed to excise a tumor and check it for cancer.  Needless to say, last week was incredibly stressful.  However, the papers got done impeccably, I generated new leads at work, and my precious Buddy is cancer-free and recovering well.

All of that has given me the ability to breathe again, and a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders now that the divorce is proceeding.  I even had the opportunity to have a little fun!  Last night I did a duet with a friend of mine who was opening a sold-out show.  We sang Jason Aldean’s song “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” featuring Kelly Clarkson.  We did an acoustic version with him, me, two stools and a guitar.  It was amazing.  We rocked the house.  If you aren’t familiar with the song, here it is:

It was so amazing to go on stage and perform again.  People were cheering and loving it.  I had so, so many people come up to me afterwards and say that they were just blown away.  I’ve missed having music be a part of my life in that way.  I also got to pick out a cute outfit and break out my pink hair extensions again.  I thought I would share some self-portraits from last night.  Pink streaks are fabulous!

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Finally, for some levity, I would like to share a little ditty from today.  I decided to treat myself to my favorite Thai restaurant for dinner tonight.  When I went by to pick it up, the owner who is an older, small-statured gentleman from Thailand, started asking me about how things are going for me.  I’m a regular there, and used to go at least once a week when I worked close by.  He said that he has noticed the man I used to bring in with me is gone.  I laughed and said yes.  He said it’s easier that way.  I told him he was soooo right.  Then, in his broken English, he told me, “Next time, you get better looking one.”  I burst out laughing!  I’m still chuckling to myself.

Yes, next time around I will get a better looking one.  More than that, though, I’ll get a better all-around man.  🙂

Remembering to Enjoy Myself

13 Nov

This week I am traveling for work.  I am participating in an excellent training program that is keeping me very, very busy from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm every day.  A new saleswoman that I hired in June also came down here with me.  We have a nice 2 bedroom, 2 bath suite with a shared living room, dining room and kitchen.  The best feature – our fireplace!

After class every night all 15 of us at training go down to the hotel lobby where they have a “social.”  The hotel provides dinner, buffet-style, and an open bar with free beer and wine.  The wine is really crappy, but after a few beers it doesn’t really matter.  Last night we drained the keg dry in less than an hour.  Tonight they said that they are prepared for us.  🙂

Although I will probably not post for the rest of the week, I wanted to assure you that it is because I’m having too much fun.  It is freeing to enjoy myself, take some “me” time, and sing duets in the hotel lobby.  If that last comment got you confused, let me explain.  There are some incredibly interesting people here with me.  One particular man in his 60’s was a professional bull rider, a champion pool player, and is a fellow country-music singer.  His repertoire includes songs from much older artists than I am familiar with (from back before I was even born); however, he has a great voice and we have found a few songs we both know.

So the rest of this week I will be learning lots, growing in my career, and building relationships with other people in this industry.  I’ve already gotten one job offer.  I’m not looking to move right now, but one day I will.  It’s never too early to start building towards your future.  I know that mine will be bright no matter what happens in my marriage.  I hope it will be bright for my husband, too. I also hope our growth brings us together, not apart. That ball is in his court right now.

Using My Imagination

9 Jul

Here’s another set of odd and random questions from the folks over at Sunday Stealing.  I haven’t done one of these in a while, and don’t have a lot of time for a full-fledged post.  So here are the answers to a few strange and silly questions.

1. Ocean or pool?
Pool without a doubt.  The ocean is so salty.  And cold.  And filled with fish and poop and sharks.  Plus, I always end up with sand in my bathing suit and that is virtually impossible to wash off with just one shower.

2. Fridays or Ruby Tuesdays?
Ruby Tuesdays because of their salad bar.  I love salad bars.  No one can make me a salad quite like I can do for myself.

3. Did you want to go to college?
I always wanted to go to college eventually.  I’m pretty glad that I decided to delay it for a few years to travel around and get myself settled and independent.

4. What did you do the last time you were at a mall?
Went shopping…  What else is there to do?  I hit up the Yankee Candle semi-annual sale and got some great deal!

5. Do you believe in aliens?
No.  Absolutely not.  Zombies I can fathom.  Aliens, not so much.  Waiting for proof on that one.  There are just too many factors that have to be exactly perfect in order for a planet to sustain life.  We haven’t found anything close to that in the light years and light years of space and galaxy after galaxy that we have documented.

6. Why do you like the music you do?
Because it’s good.  Duh.

7. Do you read much?
All of the time.  I do need to find some more time for myself to just relax and enjoy a good read again.  I’m waiting on a few books to arrive via mail very soon.

8. Favorite country?
Hmmm…  That’s a tough one.  My favorite country that I’ve been to so far is tied between Switzerland and Austria.  They were so magnificent.  The beauty of the land, the history, the food, the people, the music, the entertainment…  All spectacular!

9. What is something you wish you were better at?
Flying.  I wish I was way better at flying.  I can never seem to get off of the ground no matter how hard I try.

10. What’s your favorite album/CD?
I don’t really have one “favorite.”  My favorites at the moment (a.k.a. the ones that I play over and over in my car) include Adele(especially Someone Like You and Rolling in the Deep), Katy Perry (especially Firework and Part of Me), and Hunter Hayes (especially Storm Warning and Wanted).  In celebration of our recent holiday, here is a video of Firework:

11. What’s a good dinner order?
Fried rice with beef, hot, from Pad Thai.  Or maybe (like I had last night) soft beef chimichangas and cheese dip from Mexico Restaurant.

12. Planes or boats?
Can I pass on both?  Planes would be 100 times better if it wasn’t for the crazy lines and ridiculous TSA regulations that basically require me to be viewed naked by some perv behind the scanner screen.

13. One rumor that’s been spread about you:
That I’m gay.  I’m actually bisexual.  Not all rumors are false.  😉

14. Who is your newest friend?
Samantha Baker over at Repairing Shattered Pieces.  She and I have been blogging buddies for a few months, but we just met in person on Saturday.  It was a great time.  We really connect and can talk about anything.  It was definitely well-worth the hour trip up to see her.  We are already planning our next meeting.

15. Have you ever sat on a rooftop?
Yes, I have.  It was wonderful.  I went up on the roof of our house out in the country to help my Dad nail up some new shingles after a storm.  It was a breath-taking view, and I loved working alongside my Dad and feeling the breeze on my face.

16. Was your last text useful?
Yes, it was.  I asked someone a question.  Although I still haven’t gotten an answer back, it was a useful question that I need to know the answer to in order to make a decision.

17. Favorite soda?
7-Up.

18. Do you like yourself?
Yep, I sure do.

19. The worst weather: Hot or cold?
Both.  I like it in-between.  The perfect day is a mild spring or fall day in the 70s.  The blistering hot weather we’ve been having lately (well over 100 for weeks now) paired with the brutal humidity and insane heat indexes (115?  Seriously?!) is almost unbearable to be out in.  Conversely, I hate being cold.  Even worse is cold and wet in the snow and slush with a chance to fall on my ass because of black ice.  No thanks!

20. Do you play an instrument?
I pseudo play the guitar.  I can play basic cords and rhythm.  I can also play a few songs on the piano if you give me all day to practice and some sheet music.  My real instrument is my voice, though.  I’m currently having a tattoo drawn up of a vintage microphone.  It will have music notes swirling around it and be done in gray-scale.  Here are a few inspiration photos.

Being Busy

27 Jun

I know I have been away a bit longer than just through the weekend.  Ooops.  I have been running all around like a crazy person lately.  Some of it has been good – but it sure has been hectic.  So here’s a quick rundown.  This weekend I attended a wonderful party that I wish we could have stayed at longer, then drove 2 hours to a fantastic concert.  After seeing 4 amazing bands we then had to brave that 2 hour drive back home… not so fun.  Good thing the next day was Sunday, though, because sleeping in was definitely in order.

Fast-forward to Monday when we had a terrible storm blow through.  Winds reached 86 mph, there was driving rain, hail, lightning, and some tornadoes a little farther out from me (thankfully I didn’t see any).  The wind and rain were so hard and heavy that water was actually forced under the front door at work and caused a semi-flood in our foyer and warehouse.  Oh, and it knocked the power out.  I’m sure you can imagine the fun time that ensued attempting to clean up the water in the dark.  Thankfully we have lots of windows – except in my office (of course) – yay!

Since I live only about a mile from work the power was also knocked out at my house.  We weren’t quite like the people in the picture above, although I did have tons of candles lit.  Thankfully my Dad lives next door (another story entirely) and he has a generator.  We plugged in an extension cord and stretched it on over to run our refrigerator, A/C and television.  That really was a lifesaver!  Except our cable and internet were also down.  Thank goodness for Criminal Minds on DVD!

Work was an entirely different story, though.  We really, really need our computers to be able to invoice items and all of the other daily operations.  Generally power comes up pretty fast for the business where we are, but not this time.  There were over 100,000 people without electricity not counting the businesses.  We thought we would get power back in the morning on Tuesday, but when I called there was still no estimated time to get it back.  I tried limping through work on my tablet and cell phone, but by mid-day it was obvious that wasn’t working and becoming more and more clear that power wasn’t coming back.  Cue shopping trip for a generator, setting it up, gassing it up, and stringing together several extension cords throughout the office to get our key equipment up and running.  Let me tell you, it was fun crawling all around on the floor – not!

Did I mention that in the middle of all of that I was recruiting for a job opening?  Trying to set up interviews on a tablet in the dark is not as fun as it sounds.  I also conducted a few phone interviews and coordinated with the President on his schedule for face-to-face interviews.  In my dark office.  Oh yeah, and I had a funeral to attend in the middle of all of that.  I also had to sing 2 songs yesterday so I had to get some music together and try to practice – without a printer or the internet as a guide.  Thankfully I’m good under pressure and can “going with it.”  No one had any clue that I hadn’t devoted my normal hours of preparation and practice.  Everyone said I did wonderfully.  Phew!

Today we finally have power, internet, and phone service back in the area – at home and work.  That is such a relief, but it also means picking up the slack for the past 2 days without power.  I promise I will get back to thoughtful writing and introspection… Tomorrow.  I’m feeding my procrastinating side today.  Well, not really – I still have a therapy appointment, chiropractor, and dinner with the girls in my group tonight – all by 6:30 pm.  And I need to pick up a Redbox rental on my way home to care for my sick husband – who has been vomiting today.  Hopefully it’s not from the boil advisory we received for our water – because I drank that stuff, too (The power outage also knocked out the water processing plant, so we could have any number of unknown bacteria in our water – which they didn’t deem worth telling us until 12 hours after we had been drinking said water from the tap).  See you around soon!

Music – A Soundtrack for Life

17 Apr

Music has always been a huge part of my life and who I am.  I was raised in a household full of music – singing, instruments, and hours devoted to practicing, performing, and enjoying it.  My mother is a pianist, led the church choir, and was a long-term music teacher substitute at the local middle school when the choral director was out on maternity leave (twice).  My uncle plays the guitar, my aunt led worship, my cousins play a variety of instruments (trumpet, sax, drums, guitar, bass, and more), my brother plays the drums and learned to manage a sound board, and my sister even tried violin once (it didn’t stick).

I was in chorus all the way through school, and in my senior year of high school I was part of the show choir and chamber ensemble.  I decided to skip “early release” and add an extra music class – even though I already attended choir every day.  I dropped out of the International Baccalaureate Program when the extra class requirements would mean I couldn’t focus on music the way I wanted to.  I went to county and state vocal competitions, traveled all over the country and once internationally with my show choir, and even formed a band of my own for a short while.  I never learned to play the piano the way my mother does, but I did pick up the acoustic guitar and teach myself a few things.

More than those collections of facts, though, music is a part of my soul.  I remember singing in the car to the radio as one of my earliest memories – yes, I was that young.  Music has this amazing power.  It can transform my mood, bring me back to the past or into my future in an instant, and express all of the emotions and thoughts in my head in a way I haven’t even considered yet.  Songs are intimate.  They are expressions of our deepest desires and most shallow thoughts.  They can lift you up, tear you down, make you laugh, cry, and sing along at the top of your lungs even if you don’t get a single note right (like my Dad).

I am constantly amazed by all the new ways that song writers can express age-old themes in fresh and exciting terms.  Just when I think every word has been said or every song has been sung on a particular subject I hear something else that blows me away.  The best song writers are the ones that bare everything – all of their fears, hurt, guilt, shame, joy, triumph, loss, love, and the list goes on.  There are songs and song writers that are so raw and real they touch a place inside of me that I thought only I had access to.  There are songs that speak to me and seem to speak for me.  Truly, songs are a backdrop for everything, a soundtrack for life, because they incorporate every part of life.

In this blog I have already shared some of the songs that are capturing my life, or at least some of my feelings, right now.  I think that will be a continuing theme here because sometimes words alone aren’t enough to express everything inside of me.  Here is the latest song I am really connecting to – “Let it Rain” by David Nail.  It has been rolling around in my head for hours.  I really like this version better than the official music video because it is a very clean, honest performance.

The words of this song are really powerful for me.  It helps me understand some of the emotions that my husband feels, especially the chorus.  There is guilt, shame, acceptance, pain, regret, and so much more wrapped up into the song.  It’s not just the lyrics, either.  He puts such emotion in his voice that it just shoots straight through me.  I’m going to sit here for a little while with this song on repeat just listening and feeling and enjoying another great song that is beautifully written and poignantly performed.

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