Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On Writing...

Tonight I went to my first writing group in a couple of years. It was a freeing feeling. I savor the opportunity to talk about writing with other people who have the same fiery flames as I do. Sitting on a patio at a restaurant in the middle of the city, the sound of breaks, buses, horns in the background while we discuss words and thoughts on an art that brings my soul to life. Energy. Passion. Heart. It was all there at that table over chips and salsa.

Now I am back at home, contemplating the next chapter I will tackle in my writing project. A book. I have never been so excited about my writing. I have learned to sip and enjoy the journey. Someone who is quite impatient, this is a first. Perhaps it is because I am older and wiser now than I was when I attempted to write a novel two times before.

Why do I write? I saw an essay contest that asked the writer to explain why he or she wrote. Why? It is like explaining why fish require water to stay alive. It is a necessity. Reading and writing keep me sane. They keep me connected to me.

So, inspiration is surging through my veins this week. It is invigorating. I will be ready to talk writing, storyboarding and character-building on Thursday evening with my writing partner.

On another note...my weight loss challenge is going along. I go up and down on the pounds I lose, but I am feeling fantastic. And, I have been going to the gym four or five times a week. I have lost a good amount of body fat. So, whether I win or lose -- I don't think I will care. It has me going in a healthy direction. And, it has made me closer to a good friend.

Music: A week from today I will be seeing The Swell Season with Rachael Yamagata opening for them at the Mesa Arts Center.

Books: Currently reading Edward Rutherfurd's "The Princes of Ireland"

Friday, October 09, 2009

Let the Birthday Extravaganza Continue a.k.a. I'm a Lucky Girl

This week was my birthday and I was not too happy about facing another year olderwhen the week began. I was reflecting on the past year on Monday and was just feeling like I hadn't done everything I had wanted to. Lunch with a friend on Monday helped change my attitude a bit, but then I went into a melancholy lull with the weather.

Tuesday flew right by (not without a lovely card and gift from my boss -- so nice)and before I knew it, it was my birthday on Wednesday. I learned that no matter what I have done over the past year, I am loved and appreciated. I have achieved a great deal in connecting with some amazing people. Wow! I am still overwhelmed by the week...the kindness, the care, the pure love that surrounded me.

I woke up in the morning with a gift and card from my sweet sweet husband, with morning rain and a rainbow outside to tell me "good morning." I then met two coworkers at a local coffee place and was treated to a delicious cappuccino. The hugs that greeted me were just so wonderful and genuine.

At work, I was welcomed by a bunch of balloons, an orchid, a gift bag and card. My staffperson, who is also a friend, had wanted to make my day special and she certainly made it so. At noon, I met a good friend for lunch and then when I came back to the office, my other staff person presented me with a blanket she had hand knitted -- she had chosen colors so the blanket would look like the ocean. So sweet!

Ry and I met my parents for dinner and we spent the evening talking and laughing -- they are the best parents. Before dinner I was elated to talk to my two sisters and my nephew.

The birthday celebration is continued with lunch today with a friend and then dinner tonight with two other friends. Tomorrow I will get to spend the day with one of my favorite people at the movies and lunch. And, then dinner tomorrow night with a whole group of friends -- many of us celebrating an October birthday.

Sunday is a relaxing day with my husband -- massages and brunch at one of the most beautiful resorts in town. I am not sure I will be able to start back to work on Monday after such a fun-filled week.

I have been very humbled by the love and affection that has been shown to me this week. I am a lucky girl with truly fantastic people in her life. I am blessed and so very grateful. The birthday extravaganza has shown me that I have achieved a great deal over the last year. I am looking forward to a new year of more friends...and wonderful people in my life.

Monday, October 05, 2009

It Must Be Autumn

It must be Autumn. I am sitting on my patio this evening with a cool breeze brushing against my cheek. There is a wonderful wrapping quiet outside with smidgens of the football game on the TV inside the house slipping out to lick at my ear.

It must be Autumn. I am having that lovely heaviness that hits me when it becomes cooler outside. I become reflective on my life at this time of the year and more apt to listen to classical and folk music (better for thinking). It is a time of renewal for me...almost like my own New Year. The time when I want to take on a new skin. It isn't just because it is my favorite season, but because it is my birthday.

It must be Autumn. I am facing my successes and failures head on and wondering what the next year will hold for me. Already, I was lamenting the confusion I am feeling about who I really am and who I want to be. Wouldn't I have this figured out at 33 (34 in only a few days)? I won't lie, there was a deliciousness to feeling the tears on my cheek become cold in the wind that blew through my car window, a tangible release.

It must be Autumn. I am beginning to smell apples and cinnamon in the air. I am longing to buy a pumpkin for carving. I want set off on a hiking trail lined with oak and ash, leaves changing into crimson, umber, and yellow. The Halloween decorations are calling my name. The orange and black, spiders and skulls, bring to me such wonderful memories from childhood. I can't help but smile while I am brilliantly torn on the inside.

It must be Autumn. I hope this season slows to a simmer for me to sip it up; savor and swirl it around among my senses. I think I'll sit out here on my patio a little longer and stare at the yellow moon that is telling me to prepare for a beautiful Fall.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

After a pretty hard week, this weekend was wonderful and exactly what I needed. I took Friday off and used the day to prep for a dinner party we were having on Saturday - IKEA, Target, Jo-Ann's, and Party City. Rachel arrived in town around lunch time and we took it easy until we had to leave for Tucson to see Pink Martini at the Rialto Theatre. What an amazing show! They were just so fantastic...a lot of shimmy-shimmy in our seats. And, the Rialto is a beautiful theatre. I won't go into too many details on our KISS-rocking on the way down to Tucson and our experience of eating dinner on a bench outside of a restaurant. Just know that, as usual, Rachel and I had some quirky fun.

Saturday, we spent the day getting the house and food ready for our dinner party. We were hosting 13 of our closest friends (people who in reality were more like family). Highlights of the food: ricotta cheesecake styled by Miss Rachel, rosemary roasted almonds and homemade tomato sauce, courtesy of a recipe from Mario Batali. Before the party, Ry (yes, he was home on a Saturday -- a wonderful treat), Rachel and I went to Costco to get a few things (including delicious goat cheese with figs) and take a break over a super-cheap lunch.

Dinner was so great! We ate outside at our lovely decorated table, sharing laughs and stories. I really enjoyed seeing all of the smiling faces around the table. People I loved and cared about were all in one place. I felt blessed. The party was a hit. Most everyone left by 12 a.m., but a few of us played Guitar Hero until 2 a.m. Oh, what fun! I didn't even realize how late it was; I was enjoying myself too much.

A testament to the kind friends we have...everyone brought a gift for us. Our home looks like a florists at the moment with the flowers that were given to us -- calla lily, orchid, bouquet of sunflowers. Add chocolate bars and a beautiful-smelling salt scrub to the list of gifts and I almost don't feel worthy of the generosity. The love everyone brought to the house was enough of a gift for me. I am a lucky girl.

So today has been a wind-down, preparing for the realities of work and the grind of the weekday. Before Rachel left to drive back to Cali, we had dim sum. I can never have enough chinese broccoli with oyster sauce. Delish! After Rachel headed out on the road, I realxed a bit and read a book...which turned into a nap. Ahh! The rest of the afternoon was filled with football, a bit of work and then some TV.

What a weekend! Does tomorrow have to be Monday?

Weight Loss Challenge Update: 7 pounds lost so far

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Creative Juices

Creative juices is so kitschy, but it is the best way to describe what has been going on so far this weekend. Creativity has been bounding and hopping all over the place and I love it. I haven't been in this place for a while.

Yesterday, I spent the morning playing guitar and creating musically. Then, last night, I visited with a few friends for drinks and conversation. I ended up walking around First Friday, talking to artists. It really inspired to be more bold and courageous with my art. I shouldn't be holding it back and hiding it. Going to work on being more out there with my painting and photography.

Today, I met with another friend to talk writing. We are both working on novels so we are going to meet monthly with additions to our manuscripts, discussing ways to improve and direction. This was our first meeting and it was wonderful! I have been quite motivated to add to what I have so far. It was so nice to hear that my writing inspired him -- my writing! I have been writing off and on all afternoon, with a few cleaning and guitar-playing breaks. With the dark cloudy sky outside, it has been perfect for creating.

On an indirect note of creative juices...yesterday, I decided to get my hair cut. It hadn't been cut for about four months and I thought it was time for a trim. The hairstylist (whom I'd never had cut my hair before -- I walked into the salon near the house) had trimmed my hair and returned my long layers. My hair was about as exciting as it always is -- long hair has the tendency to just "be there." We started talking and I told her I wanted something different -- something edgier (I am having a lot of rock n roll moments lately).

"What do you suggest? I'm feeling adventurous."

"Well, we can make it edgier, but the back will be shorter than it is now."

She explained her idea for my hair and asked me what I thought.

"Let's do it!"

I now have an edgy hair cut that has been helping to feed my creativity. It is a bob with a bit of angle added to it. When she ironed out my hair yesterday with my new cut, I felt like I was channeling Joan Jett just a bit (cool). Today, with the humidity and the resulting curls, I think I have more of a Charlize Theron (I won't complain about that).

Update on my weight loss: I lost 1.5 pounds in my first week of my weight loss challenge. Feeling very good.

Currently can't listen to much more than The Beatles and Depeche Mode. It's all good.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Let the Challenge Begin...

It all started in an innocent enough way. Dinner with a friend at a lovely little local latin (oooh, alliteration) restaurant, complete with twinkle lights and hippie servers. After much discussion about various topics personal and impersonal, it was time to put down my proposal. We've both been making note of our lack of weight loss and perhaps a pudge here and there (usually while sharing a dessert after dinner), so I thought now was the time to stop taking note and getting rid of the pudge.

My proposal was put out on the table around the time we got our banana ice cream drenched in chocolate ganache and caramel (yum!). There was an agreement...it was time. And, we had a motivation. We're going to be attending the KISS concert on December 1...a good date for the first weight loss goal. I mean, who doesn't want to look hot at a rock concert? Am I right? I am currently picturing myself in a size 8 pair of jeans.

We will be motivating and supportive along the way for one another (I'm sure), but the smack will come. I am certain the trash talk will emerge. And, why? Because there is pride and a prize on the line. The winner will have the loser (for lack of a better term) buy them a shirt or some kind of swag at the concert (hmmm, perhaps we will need a cap on spending....didn't think about that).

The challenge begins tomorrow...and I am determined to win. I want to win. I don't tend to be competitive, but I have my moments. This is something I want -- badly. Plus, I don't tend to enjoy being a failure in front of others, that in itself will be a motivator to me. On top of it, the person I am competing with is more than a friend, this person is a mentor. Who wants to look bad to their mentor? Not me.

I am going to beat this thing. I am going to win! So, send the positive weight loss vibes my way. I need to lose 12 pounds before December 1. KISS t-shirt (in a smaller size) here I come!

**Can you see me sticking my tongue out a la Gene Simmons?**

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I'm Walking On Sunshine...

It has been a challenging week to say the least, but the clouds parted today and I am on cloud 9. It was one of those days where I started out feeling blue (even wore a bright color to cheer me up), but then things just turned around and by the end of the day I was grinning ear to ear. I owe a lot of the happiness to my friends, starting with my staffperson Jo who had me laughing when I got into the office this morning.

Then I met my good friend and mentor, Alan, for lunch and he proceeded to make me feel like I was on the right track with work...so nice to have people who understand and relate.

Back at the office, I had a wonderful conversation with a new employee and had my CEO tell me basically that I was awesome! Wahoo.

I rounded out my day with a committee meeting with some of my favorite people and then at home with my loving husband. Really, this day has just been full of positive energy and I feel blessed. Love days like this; I will cherish it.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Today was a tough one. A serious contrast to the wonderful, relaxing day I had yesterday. After rowing class, I came home to see Jasmine, my geriatric dog, lying on the floor with her legs sprawled in front of her; she was unable to lift herself. You could see the frustration in her large brown eyes. She was straining and whining, looking up at me and asking for help. It broke my heart.

Since she has come to live with us, she has had many medical problems. But, she has always been able to overcome them. She has been a fighter, a survivor. It is wonderful having her with us. It has given us some great experience of what it will be like to take care of a child. She has also been a fantastic companion --the times we have walked around the block, the mornings at the park or the Biltmore, and the days where she went out on errands with me.

Today was tough because I had the realization that my friend is not going to be with me much longer. We took her to the vet after seeing that her mobility has become very limited. It was tearing me up. I hate to see her like that considering how much of her faculties she still has. She still gets excited when she sees me. She still has a glitter in her eyes when I pull out her leash. And, she can still eat her dinner quicker than a Porsche can get to 100 MPH.

The vet had the talk with us, telling us it was time to begin thinking about when will be the right time to let her go. There is no right time if you ask me. I have had her since I was 18. She has been one of my best friends. She is part of our family and so very loved. I don't know if I will be able to let go of her, but I know the time will have to come. I will have to consider what is best for her and her quality of life.

For now, she is on pain medications and we are trying to ease the pain of the arthritis and muscle atrophy in her hips. We are lending her a hand when she eats or needs to go out in the yard to make things a little easier.

I know many people look at dogs or cats as just animals, but I didn't grow up that way. Our pets have always been part of the family. They have their own personalities and quarks. And, something you don't experience with other humans - a love, devotion and loyalty that is unfaltering. On a bad day, coming home to a wagging tale and wet kiss on the cheek can cheer you up. Or, the days when you're sick, the warmth of a soft fluffy cat curled up against you is soothing and therapeutic.

I feel blessed and fortunate to have grown up in a family that loves our pets.

Jasmine, I love you. You will always be that adorable puppy that could never resist kissing every person who came within feet of you.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Random Questions and Ponderings

I cannot put two ideas together in a linear fashion so I am just relying on random numbered questions and ponderings. Please read with an open mind.

1. Why, oh, why does that couple at dance have to hog the dance floor? There are at least 12 couples in the class and there is a huge dance floor for all of us to share, but the showy couple that also likes to goof off has to take over and impede on our space. Ugh! What to do about floor hogs?

2. Why is it one of the coolest things when you go to a restaurant and they greet you by name? We have become regulars at San Tan Brewery and it is nice to be recognized. Are just being needy? Or is it that we feel like we are reliving Cheers?

3. Why did Vans decide to sponsor an outdoor concert in Phoenix in the middle of the Summer? Today, I spent four hours out in the 105-degree summer heat at the Warped Tour. The music was great and I was so wanting to hang out longer to see the bands play, but goodness it was hot. I have not felt that horrible after a day in the sun. Bad time of year for something like this, but thousands of people still showed up.

4. Why is it so exciting to makeover one of the rooms in my house? I am going to tackle my bathroom this weekend and I am so excited about the prospect. I have paint, a new shelf, new shower curtain. My bathroom is going to look totally new and I am thrilled to bits. Wonderful Fourth of July project this weekend.

5. Why is Deadliest Catch so interesting? It is a show about a bunch of guys who fish for crab. Why do I feel so compelled to watch?

Music musings this month: U2, The Sundays, Westside Story, Belanova, Wilco and Depeche Mode.

Current read: In Defense of Food...trying to barrel through it so I don't have to renew my checkout of the book from the library.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

My Thoughts on This Week

The death of an important doctor this last weekend has been weighing very heavily on my mind. First, it is just the image of a man ushering at church just as he would every Sunday and seeing a man come toward him with a gun. I can imagine the congregation hearing the shots fire and echo through the sanctuary. "What could that be?" Next, a sweating and anxious young man coming to get his wife in as quiet a way he can. The sound that echoes through the sanctuary next is the terrified and disbeliefing scream. Just thinking about this scene now brings tears to my eyes. Quite frankly hearing about the details of any human being killed is a frightening tale that aches my heart.

I know that this doctor was a controversial person in this country. I know that many people may see his name and think that he was also a murderer and that what he got was what he deserved. It is hard for me to believe that.

He stood by the side of frightened women who were carrying babies they wanted (hence carrying to a late term), but had to terminate the birth because of the risk to their own health. He cared for them and their families to ensure that not only was the woman's health taken into account, but that the family was able to cope with the pain of the loss - at a time when no one else would be there for them. Who can ever really cope with the loss of a child -- born or unborn? No one. It is a scar that a woman must always live with; a deep pain that may never heal. Nonetheless, some instances of health make it a necessity. But, politicians have stepped in where they don't belong. It is a woman's body; it is a decision she needs to only confide in her family and doctor to make.

Everyone's personal feelings on the matter of abortion are different -- personal. Personal. Where are we missing this? Just as religion is personal so are everyone's thoughts on health care. It may not be the choice I would make for myself, but I am not the one who dictates to others. I also don't condone war, but there are certainly a lot of them going on around the world. Our beliefs don't dictate to the environment; it doesn't work that way.

Sorry, I digress. What I choose for myself doesn't mean that I am better at making decisions for others. And, certainly what I believe doesn't mean that it should be so for others. Can I make the choice for a woman with an abusive husband, drug addiction and no home to live in? Can I make the decision for a family that already has five children and the main bread-winner in the household has lost his job? Can I make the decision for the woman who finds herself alone, pregnant and carrying a child with Downs Syndrome? I can't. I hope I never have to face the decision. It takes an amazing amount of courage and determination.

And, where does terrorism and striking fear into women who have to make this choice actually help? Where does it actually make a difference? Where does it make impact? It doesn't. It only creates fear. Not rationale. Not educated adults. Not women who feel they have worth.

The doctor's death was sad and unnecessary in and of itself. But, to hear the commentating on his death like it was God inflicting his wrath on an evil person is just so ignorant. I don't remember God giving us the right to judge others on this planet. When did that happen? This doctor was a respected man who fought for woman's rights to make their own decisions when it came to their reproductive health care. He continued to do what he believed was right and provide a service to women that thousands in the country refused to at the risk of his own life. Courage. Fighting for what he believed in. Standing up with women when politicians didn't think the voices of millions of women just weren't loud enough.

The point? This is bigger than just making my own decisions about the birth control pills I would like to take to keep from becoming pregnant until I am ready to have a family. This is about being a woman and being able to make my own decisions. Period. I have a voice, dammit. And, I don't want a politician to look at me and say, "Well, you are in your thirties, a career-minded woman and, oh, a blond. You can't make your own choices. Let me do it for you. Keep being the fragile, hopeless creature you have always been. It's for your own good."

No, thank you. Women have gotten much too far to just sit down and allow politicians to do this to us. To objectify us. Did the women before us fight in vain? I hope not. In a time when women are doing everything that men do...why aren't we given the same rights in every way that men are?

I pray for our country every day. I pray for people who are on both sides of this fence every day. I pray that God will truly come back into the picture again - a loving God where we embrace our fellow human beings and come up with solutions through dialogue together instead of yelling at one another. Instead of shooting one another.

I am sad today and will be for a long time. We are destroying the world and the people God has created just to get our way; just to impose our thoughts and beliefs on others. Is it worth it? Is the anger and dissidence worth it? Is the fear worth it?

I don't think it is.

What is? A woman who is smiling with the light of hope on her face because she has freedom, knowledge, and a future. Precisely what this doctor fought for.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Swing, Swing!

So, we started our first night in the combination ballroom dancing class we are taking through the city. It was so much fun! We learned the East Coast Swing tonight. What could be better than looking into the face of my best friend (my husband) and dancing to Glen Miller? Um, nothing. I can't wait to see what the next 6 weeks of classes hold for us. We really want to practice in between classes and keep it up after classes....finding someplace for us to dance on a regular basis. Ooooh, fun!

I love spending time with Ryan! He is awesome! That is all I can say. He is just awesome! No one else can make me smile and laugh like he does. And, well, he is so adorable.

Okay, enough fawning over my husband.

My current music interests -- two new CDs I bought at my favorite music store --The Hold Steady and Heartless Bastards. Now, before you discount the last band because of their name....they are great! The lead female singer has a wonderful smoky voice like Pretenders' frontrunner Hynde. And, the sound is a bluesy rock and roll. Really enjoying them. My friend who owns the music store told me that her counterpart in Cincinnati sold 750 copies of the album the day it came out. Wow!

Another music interest -- Laura Pausini. I have listened to a couple of her songs and I am certain she is Italian. The song she does with James Blunt -- Anticipada Primavera is lovely!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Holy Crap, These Fit!

Yesterday I went to the movies with a friend and then we decided to go into the nearby mall. I recently lost more weight and my shorts from last summer no longer fit and I'm in need of some shorts (I live in hot and dry Arizona; they're a must). Well, I had some surreal moments of dealing with a new reality as it relates to my body while on our shopping spree.

Perhaps I should back up a bit. When I moved to Phoenix, my entire life changed -- yes, it was ten years ago -- but it was a huge shift in my world. No more socializing and hanging out with people I knew. No more beach. No more swimming. No more people to go hiking with. No more LA trips. No more occasional coaching at the roller rink. And, there was my poor boyfriend (husband now); he was my only connection and social network in Phoenix. I don't think he realized what he got himself into.

Now at this point in my life, my weight had fluctuated, but not too greatly because I was always pretty active. And, in fact, before I met my husband to be...I was in really good shape. So, here is my new life in Phoenix and I'm not sure what to do.

It took quite a few years, but I became the heaviest weight I have ever been. In fact, at the pinnacle of my weight, I got married. I had the best time ever on the day of my wedding. It was awesome! But, when I saw the photos, I was heartbroken inside. How did I get like this? How did the cross country running, tennis playing, roller skating, ocean swimming athlete that I was inside end up looking like this on the outside?

So, more than 2 years ago, my husband and I joined Weight Watchers together. I lost 30 pounds just in the first 4 months and then I plateaued. I kept on keeping on for a year and didn't gain any weight, but I didn't lose any either. I was pretty happy. I looked like a normal person in my photos when we went on vacation in Thailand. But, I still had more to lose.

Last year, we stopped going to Weight Watchers because we didn't seem to be getting anything from it anymore. I needed to do this on my own now. I needed to push myself. I started making a commitment to workout three days each week. It happened for a while, but not consistently enough. I needed to turn my routine upside down. I needed to be focused and determined. I could do this!

December 2008, I became a vegetarian again. After thinking about it for a while, struggling with stomach problems, and reading books on vegetarianism, I knew this was what I needed to do. Along with kicking hormone-and-calorie-ladened meat to the curb, I also began to work out more consistently and only eat when I was hunger. Yes, a strange concept, but only when I was hungry and I only ate what I needed to satisfy that hunger. It is a lot less food than what I used to stuff into my body. I eat too much now and I feel horrible. I have it down. And, at this point, I have lost about 45 pounds.

This leads us up to yesterday. Kind of. A couple of weeks ago, I went to a rock and roll show with friends. One of them commented on how baggy my jeans were..."I think it is time for you to get a new pair." I was in denial. It was impossible that I could be wearing something smaller than a size 12. I had been wearing a 12 for the last year.

So, last weekend, I went into Old Navy, picked up a pair of size 10 jeans and tried them on. Yes, they fit. But, you know it is Old Navy and they are stretchy. I was excited about having a 10 on my body (okay, I cried in the dressing room), but still discounted it a bit.

Okay, now we are on yesterday. So, we are shopping for shorts and my friend says, we should go to Ann Taylor and J Crew. They have the best shorts. Okay. I am thinking to myself that I will have to get 12s at these stores. They are stores that cater to thin, good-looking people.

As we perused the racks, I did pick up 10s at Ann Taylor, all along thinking I will get to the dressing room, they won't fit and I will have to go back out and get 12s.

"Holy crap, they fit!"

I said it loudly from my dressing room. A lady next to me giggled and my friend, Felice, came out to see what I was talking about. "Let me see."

I had on a pair of shorts and they said 10 on the tag. What the heck?? I tried a few pairs of shorts and pants and each time they fit. Wow! I ended up buying a size 10jean skirt and a couple of t-shirts.

So, we walk down to J Crew. I look for bermuda shorts and they don't have a 10 in the khaki. "Oh, let's see if they can find them for us," says Felice. Do we have to hassle the salesperson to get something that will not fit me? I looked at a hot pink pair of shorts in a 10 and they look too small for me.

The salesperson emerges with a couple pair of shorts in a 10 and I go in to try them on.

"Okay, this is freaking crazy!"

"What?" says Felice.

"These fit too."

At this point, she is kind of laughing at me.

"Cynde, you have been working really hard to lose the weight and you look great."

I am still in astonishment today and can't believe that I was talking to my husband last night about having a goal of wearing a size 8 when we go to see Depeche Mode in August. Part of me thinks that it will be impossible, but there is a part of me that thinks I can do it.

I mean....holy crap! They fit!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Every note, every chord
it plays upon my heart

The music reaches in
plucking my very soul

What is this power?
What is this intensity that
takes over me?

A sustaining note
A power chord
A short ping as the artist's fingers
go down the strings, changing the chord

Deep down
I long to be that guitar
Singing with a clear voice
out into the dark night
filling the world with a joy and light

Emotion and energy
all created from strings

Strings right to my core

Nothing in Particular

...yes, nothing in particular. This is very important. So, be sure to pull out your notepads.

I am sitting in my quiet house, listening to semi-sad music. Darn adorable couple from the movie, Once. They made an album and I am addicted to it. It is along the lines of Sarah McLachlan. That perfect CD for a candlelit bath for one. Maybe a few healthy tears and then laying on your bed staring up at the ceiling. Yeah, it's like that.

It's a Sunday night and I am working on some things I need for work tomorrow. I am beat. Busy busy weekend. Great fun, but it was exhausting. Why do I do that to myself?

Well, I was missing my blog. I feel like I have been cheating on it with Twitter (and maybe I mentioned this previously). Twitter is so easy and spontaneous. I love how it lets me purge the crazy thoughts that are filling my brain at the moment.

A few things I am excited about at the moment...seeing Styx (yes, Styx) on Friday night. They are quite fun to see and I am going with some wonderful friends.

Another exciting happening...Ry and I signed up for ballroom dancing through the city. I have taken so many classes with the city's park and rec department. We have seven weeks of learning tango, foxtrot, swing, tango and a couple others. It is built-in date night.

And, then there is going to L.A. in August to see Dave Gahan in his t-shirt and tight jeans...ahem...I mean to see Depeche Mode play at the Hollywood Bowl. Thinking about the concert, I feel like I am in high school again. It makes my stomach get all crazy and excited. Love it!

What else is on my mind? I miss Rachel. Where are you when I am bored out of my mind? Or, when I am having lunch with someone who just doesn't know how to have as much fun as we do? This certainly isn't your fault. I moved to this desert 10 years ago. And, not that it wasn't a good move...look at all I have been able to do. But, it doesn't make me miss you any less. Some days I really do feel like you have the other half of my brain. Your friendship is such a blessing.

Sorry, this is what happens when I just write whatever comes into my head. And, this music isn't helping any. Perhaps I need to plan a trip to Cali to have a girls' weekend with Miss Rachel. A wacky weekend...oooh, maybe in San Diego?? I think I need to call Rachel tomorrow to hatch a plan.

Okay, back to work. I am pretty sure I want to go to bed at 9 p.m. tonight.

Music favorites at the moment...Andrew Bird, used Powderfinger CD I found at Zia, and oldies.

Resolution for the week -- I will be positive and all around pleased with myself. A rarity, indeed, but I think I am worth it this week. Right??

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

There is a Free Spirit in Here

This afternoon, I had lunch with a friend. We were talking about being driven and methodical. I always thought that was me. A Type A who had to be in control and always have things done in a just-so kind of way. But, I know there is a free spirit in here -- deep inside me.

I actually feel more comfortable giving over to the free-spirited side of myself. I tend to be happier and experience new things that give my life a new depth and understanding. But, the Type A, scheduled side of me needs to rule when it comes to work and finances. I don't know how to do things without having them done in a subscribed specific way.

I admit, I probably gave into that Type A side of myself more often when I got out of college. I felt like I needed to be more alert, more serious. But, it is my husband and the travels we have had that show me that there is a balance.

I can find a happy medium and this is what I have found to be true. When I am stressed and there is a lot going on that needs my detail-oriented, analytical, calculating brain...then I have Miss Type A ruling my action. But, when I happy, comfortable with me and stress-free...I have the care free hippie that is delighted in the world.

Do others have this duplicity?

On another note....currently reading, Reading Lolita in Tehran and currently listening to a lot of opera (probably to keep the free spirit motivated and harmonious at work).

Recently saw Franz Ferdinand at The Marquee in town. What a fantastic show. Full of energy and wonderful guitar. We really enjoyed seeing this Scottish band. It was our way of being at Coachella for only an hour. We had planned to go to the music festival this year, but the cost was just too much. Perhaps next year?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Time of Reflection

Last Wednesday was the beginning of Lent. I had been thinking, thinking days before Ash Wednesday about what I was going to give up for forty days. And, of course, I decided on Tuesday that I would give up bread so that I would give up something that would help me lose weight.

While we sat in the pew at church, the smell of wax in the air, I listened to our pastor talk about Lent and the sign of the cross. Lent isn't just about sacrifice...it should be about giving back. I knew that this Lent would be the time when I would put aside myself and think about what more I can do for my community. That decision opened up my heart more and I felt something small inside that told me this is what the season is about. Hmmm, can someone say holy spirit? I think so.

I have been journaling about my Lent goal since Wednesday. I am very excited to say that I have done two things so far toward this goal. I am signing up for a Habitat for Humanity project. And, I RSVP'd for volunteer orientation with Free Arts of Arizona -- one of my favorite charities. Thinking about putting up sheetrock in a house and planting flowers for someone who has been dreaming of their own home makes my heart flutter. Looking forward to getting through orientation and the whole process for Free Arts so that I am doing art projects with kids in-need. I am elated and ecstatic for it to begin.

How many more days do I have to go? I have a wonderful feeling about Lent this year. Easter may actually be the rejuvenating time for me that it is meant to be.

I know I don't write too many blog entries about my faith. I think it is because it is such a personal thing for me. It is my heart in many ways. But, tonight I felt inspired to write about how the holy spirit is working in my life at the moment. The Lord truly is great! God Bless everyone.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Evolution of Relationships and Other Ponderings

Tonight, I was reading a book and my mind started to wander. Ever sit back and think about the evolution of the relationships you have with other people? I have close friendships with people who only a year ago were simple acquaintances. After, we found out we were fellow foodies, we started to go out to dinner together one time a month. Now, we are all so close and we confide in one another much more often.

Then, there are those people who are tried and true friends. You may not talk all the time, but you can count on them always. You may not talk for a month, but when you do connect, it was as if the time never passed. I am so blessed to have a few of these type of friends. They are awesome!

There are other friends who just exist. I am beginning to wonder if these should be counted among friends. You just run into them once in a while and when you do there is a small connection, but of nothing consequential or deep. But, they confide in you once in a while, look to you for wisdom and also ask for the occasional house-sitting stint. How would these friends classify?

The last type of friend is someone who fades in and out of your life, remaining a constant of sorts. You always know they are there and may forget about them for a bit because it has been a year or so since you have chatted, but somehow your paths cross again. There is a comfort almost to these type of friends; there are you-friendly people out there.

Ridiculous rambling, I know. And, perhaps not the most eloquent of entries. But, these are ponderings.

Some other random ponderings...why are jigsaw puzzles so wonderfully fun? Even when you are working on a 1000-piece puzzle until 5 a.m.? Yes, this very scenario occurred to me this weekend and it was so fun! Does this mean I'm a nerd?

Why does England have to be such a wonderful country? I read about London and I get goosebumps. I listen to Scottish music and I have to sigh with glee. I think that perhaps I am destined to live there.

And, why, oh, why...do grape slushes from Sonic have to be so tasty??

Current read: Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen

Current music obsession: Glasvegas

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Everyone is all abuzz about this movie. And, unlike the swarm that followed Titanic, Slumdog Millionaire really is a brilliant piece of cinema (no offence Kate and Leonardo). I saw the movie the first time with Ryan and then saw it again this last weekend with my mum. The editing in the movie is superb, the music is delightful, and the story is one mixed with harsh reality and love. I adore this movie. It deserves the accolades it is receiving. It is about time a well-made film that wasn't about budget got the attention it deserves. Can't wait to see how it does at the Oscars.

If you haven't seen this movie yet...go...now!

Current musical addiction -- Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and LittleJoy. Hoping to get to the music store soon to get the new Andrew Bird CD (thanks, Rachel). Super excited because Andrew Bird has become one of my followers on Twitter. (0: Tee-hee.

I Heard it on NPR

I was listening to the Diane Rehm show this morning and was captivated by Ben Sherwood's discussion on survivors. He has the Survivor IQ test. I took it and I was a realist. Take the test and see what you get.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Yes, I am reading The Chronicles of Narnia and loving them all over again. I am nearly finished reading all of the books and of all of the characters, I fell in love with Reepicheep.

His passion and his bravery to do what is right inspired me. He was the smallest character, but always the first to stand up to injustice or to defend his friends. That kind of courage is admirable.

I want to be a Reepicheep about my work and writing. I shouldn't let it feel small. I should let it loom larger than the life it has just as ink on a page.

I have made two decisions to make me a Reepicheep -- I am going to start working on my APR and I am going to begin putting aside time again for writing. True to myself, true to my passions.

And, to remind me of my fire to be Reepicheep, I also named my new dwarf apple tree after this mouse in shining armor. Will post photos of my lovely tree when I get the chance. He is so adorable; a small patio tree that will hopefully bring fruit in June.

On a side note...currently addicted to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Her voice is amazing. And, thank you, Rachel, for sharing Andrew Bird. He has a lovely voice.

I'm A Twitter-holic

There. I've said it and put it down in writing.

I signed into Twitter today and decided to search around for authors and people I thought would be worth following. Omigosh! I got sucked into the vortex of the social networking blackhole.

I did pull myself out safely (and with only a few abrasions). I am excited to say that I am now following Neil Gaiman, Whole Foods and Wil Wheaton. Nothing to write home about (well, maybe Neil Gaiman), but very excited to see what responses I will get from my mini ramblings.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year!

Confetti, confetti, confetti, and a bit of champagne bubbles! It is a new year! And, please I ask that it be a little less eventful than last year. Well, eventful on the good things like vacation and new experiences is great, but spending hours in the hospital is something I can do without (unless I am pregnant and giving birth -- that will be okay).

I was contemplating putting down my resolutions, but decided I would be resolute in not listing them. Basically, my resolutions are things I need to do. I just need to get my butt in gear and take care of them. With my new job, a lovely husband, fantastic family and friends to support me, my list of "things-to-do-for-myself" should be easy to follow.

On the book front, I am currently rereading the entire Chronicles of Narnia while also reading Becoming Jane Austen. I went on a book-shopping spree yesterday at Changing Hands Bookstore to buy the books that were on my list. At 25% off everything in the store, it was hard to pass up. So, I will be relaying my reading adventures on my blog over the year.

On the music front. Well, I have found quite a few new albums to enjoy. Most recently, I am reveling in the cheer and happiness I feel when listening to Little Joy. Wonderful, wonderful album. I also have been enjoying Sharon and the Dap Kings, The Killers and Travis.

I wish everyone a wondrous 2009 full of new discoveries, adventures, memories and learning moments that help reveal yourself to others and you. My suggestion for getting off on the right foot: look at the stars more often, color with crayons once in a while, laugh with friends, and take time away from scheduling -- abandon yourself to a day or two without deadlines, text messages, phone calls or e-mails.

p.s. I have a confession...I developed a slight addiction to House over the Christmas weekend while they had a marathon on USA. What a great show. Other confessions...I am also happily watching the first season of Shameless (brilliant) and whiling away an hour or two every other day with Guitar Hero World Tour. Cheers!