Dominic Turns 1

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Today is Dominic Thomas’ first birthday.

He is bright and loving and joyful and curious. He laughs and smiles a lot and doesn’t cry much at all. He makes his pterodactyl sound, for everything, occasionally throwing in a yeah, yeah just so we know he can talk if he wants to, and he’s steady holding himself up but doesn’t trust yet that he can take that first step. He loves remotes and phones and balls, not necessarily in that order, but most of all he loves to be looked at and smiled at. He lights up every room he’s in. He is one of those people, those gloriously relaxed and happy people, and will always be.

Today is Dominic Thomas’ first birthday, and I love him so.

Sit Back, Relax, or Sit Up and Be Tense

I’ve been on my share of flights with funny flight attendants. I can tell you, there’s nothing like a little humor to relax nervous fliers. Plus, it’s nice that they don’t always take themselves so seriously. If I had to repeat the same spiel multiple times a week, I’d try to mix it up too.

Here’s a great example of what it means to fly the friendly skies.

Music To My Ears

I just spent the better part of the last two hours alternating between watching the snow fall out the window over my desk and looking at/listening to best album lists of 2013.

I pride myself on being somewhat of a music aficionado (a word I can say and understand, but apparently not spell correctly without help).  Music has always been more than important to me and I’ve spent a lifetime making playlists on cassette, when cassettes came in to play, so to speak, followed by CD mixes, and digital mixes for the iPod.  I’ve always done this, for myself, my friends, my family, and anyone else I could get to listen to the groupings of music I’d created.  It brings me an untold amount of joy and the doing of it is a big part of who I am.

Something I particularly love is to find new music.  Most of the time this means new music to me, not brand new to the cosmos.  Discovery.  We used to be dependent on radio stations to find something new.  New releases blasting out, spun by knowledgeable DJs who scoured the planet for the best tunes.  I’d look for odd stations, like college stations that played stuff that sounded like it came from funky back rooms and strange far off places.  I’ve also always been able to cull new sounds from family and friends and the music they love, and loved.  Exposed to very differing kinds of music growing up (big band, twang country, disco, pop, rock and roll, gospel, new age, afro-jazz, classical, jazz… the list goes on), I was lucky.  There was never any one kind of music we listened to in our house, not one kind my grandparents listened to either.  Music was and is a tapestry of sound and I was fortunate enough to get hear so many different kinds.  I had a great education in this regard and I appreciate that musical education more than I can say.  Hearing music the people in my life loved, and love, has always been a thing of beauty to me.  A true reflection of who they are, a better look into their souls.  Deep stuff, but true none the less.  Just as hearing the stuff I love probably lets the people in my life know who I am just a bit better.  We learn about each other through the power of the music we love.  We discover.  It’s a never-ending evolution of beautiful sound.

I wax on… back to mixes and music and watching the snow fall, it’s still falling.

Looking at various best of album lists for 2013 I realized I hadn’t even heard of some of the people and bands that made the lists.  For as plugged in as I think I am, there’s always a whole exciting world of unknown sound I haven’t heard.  I love that.  It means there’s a world of music, doors yet unopened, for me to explore. Today I put on my headphones, I listened, and was transported.  Music does that.  It’s a magical thing, a gift.  And since I’m always making playlists, I thought I’d cue up some of the stuff I heard today and do a playlist right here on the blog.

Some of these people I’d heard of before, and may even own some of their earlier work, some not, but all the music I’m presenting here was new to me today (except for The Lone Bellow’s You Never Need Nobody that I discovered in 2013 and just had to include here).  It’s been an amazing couple of hours.

The list is eclectic and in no particular order.  Put on the headphones, and enjoy….

Thoughts on The Grammy’s

I, along with nearly everyone else I know, save for those people who were watching the première of Sherlock, watched the Grammy’s last night. I admit, we record it and then start watching about 45 minutes after the start so we can fast forward through stuff we don’t really want to watch. What we like, what everyone probably likes, are the musical performances. Some good, some strange, some sad, and some just plain great. One never knows what you’ll see when you tune in. Some years have been disastrous, others spectacular. I guess that’s what makes the viewing so intriguing. Train wreck or triumph.

I’d say last night was a triumph, in most respects. The performances were, by and large, pretty great. We loved Lorde, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with Mary Lambert and Madonna, Carole King with Sara Bareilles, Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr., and even Beyoncé and Jay Z. The last of those was at times uncomfortable, but in a totally good way. That’s obviously one hot marriage.

Other performances made us uncomfortable in an off-putting kind of way. Sir Paul is past his prime, and should know it. It was cool seeing him and Ringo play together, but to be honest I turned down the volume. Worse, and harder to watch, was Blake Shelton with The Highwaymen. Shelton was good, as he usually is, and thank god he was there to hold it all together, because to watch Willie Nelson not play the guitar, and not know what or when he should sing, it was heart wrenching. Was it only us? Add to that a rough Merle Haggard, and Kris Kristofferson, who for his part seemed the same as always, and it was a tough bit to get through. We wanted to fast forward, but were in so much shock we had to keep watching. Whose idea was this anyway? It wasn’t over quickly enough. We felt bad for him.

The best performance, in my opinion, was John Legend’s. Just a guy and his piano singing a lovely song flawlessly. To quote Montell Jordon, “this is how we do it”. No frills, no production, and no loud music to drowned out that he might not be able to sing well live. He can, and he did, without any of the fluff.

If production is actually something you’re into, P!nk stole that horse and rode it. Once again she was high-flying, and awesome. You could hear, at various points during her performance, that she was actually breathing hard. Who could blame her. She must have worked at Cirque du Soleil at some point in a past life. If not, they’re probably hiring. She rocked it out.

I’m sure we’ll be tuning in again, or should I say recording again, next year. Who knows what will happen, other than my usual line, spoken again this year… I have GOT to look up that artist (insert Gary Clark, Jr.) and check out their music.

Wrapping up I have to include Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (with Mary Lambert & Madonna) doing Same Love. Every time I hear this song I cry. Put all else aside, love is love. Music sometimes says that best.

Best Finds of 2013

I’ve been reading a lot of best of lists in the last several days, everything from albums of 2013 to recipes involving bacon.  Everyone seems to be making a year end list.  I thought, why not jump on the bandwagon.  So here we go.  This isn’t a top ten or even a list with any sort of theme.  These are just things (songs, movie houses, art, tv shows, food, etc.) I discovered in 2013 that will stay with me long into 2014 and beyond.

Let’s get to it….

The Lone Bellow came into my life via iTunes and a free download.  I instantly became obsessed with them.  Great lyrics, excellent harmonies, and catchy tunes that stay in your head for days.

The Cinnamon Crunch Bagel from Panera.  This thing is addicting.  I’m so glad we discovered them, and so sad at the same time.  It’s all kinds of deliciousness in a small round baked good.  Toasted with butter… so damn tasty.

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Kickapoo State Park, Illinois.  We’ve lived in Illinois now for nearly two and a half years.  Surprisingly there are many things we’ve come to appreciate and even truly like about living here.  One thing we haven’t is that there isn’t as much water as we were used to living in Oregon.  We’ve done our best to travel to nearby towns with river walks (there aren’t that many) and to find state parks and such that have a decent amount of water, in whatever form we can find it.  One such place, to our delight, is Kickapoo.  First, you have to love the name, c’mon, it’s kind of awesome.  But more importantly, it has water.  All sorts of little lakes and a stream, running through it.  There are canoe rentals in the summer, and loads of trails.  We went in the fall, when the colors of the foliage were stunningly beautiful.  We will definitely be going back.

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The Golden Harbor Restaurant.  With a huge menu, free tea by the pot, and a cool old school vibe, this place rocks. Plus, the food is great.  How can you go wrong with spicy green beans, salt and pepper mushrooms, and plates full of sweet and spicy chicken.  The menu on the wall is enormous and all in Chinese.  You can pick up an english language menu from the little table by the front door if you like.  Write down the numbers of the things you’d like to order, take it up to the counter, and moments later your tasty hot food starts coming out as it’s ready.  We love this place.

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Season tickets for the University of Illinois women’s volleyball and basketball.  What a great deal.  We’d been to games before, but this all inclusive $35 dollar ticket package gets you into all the home games for both sports.  We’ve had hours of enjoyment at these games.  The atmosphere, the competition, supporting the local university, and eating an occasional stadium dog… all worth it.  Can’t beat it for good sporty entertainment.

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Cris Cab.  I can’t even remember how I stumbled on this young gent.  All I know for sure is that his music is catchy and I’m semi-addicted to it.

Dominic Thomas was born.  I don’t know if you can call him a discovery, but as he grows, and has one discovery after another of his own, we have discovered a little more about him, and ourselves.  I think that’s part of the beauty of little people.  As they grow and change and develop we see the world through them, and it is an amazingly wondrous place.

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The fun of riding steam trains.  Taking a five mile ride on a steam train isn’t exactly something I would choose to do on my own.  Maybe an over night or a several night journey, one with sleeper cars and a nice dining car, but not a shorty ride on a steam train that goes one way forward and then backs up on the return trip.  But, somehow, with the help of the excitement of a three year old, short trip steam trains kinda rock.  We went a couple of different times and I’m sure we’ll be going again this year.  Our mini engineer in training loves it and, consequently, so do we.

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The Blacklist.  James Spader is just plain awesome.  He’s an amazing actor.  In lessor hands this role, and the tv show connected to it, might not be as riveting and interesting as it is.  But with James Spader at the center, a decent supporting cast, and top notch writing, Blacklist keeps you hooked.

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Portland, Maine.  We took a little road trip for our 10th anniversary to Portland by way of NY, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, etc.  We loved New England.  It’s beautiful, it’s people are great, and it’s beautiful.  Portland, the destination for this trip, didn’t disappoint.  We met in Portland, Oregon.  It’s our city, as we like to call it.  We love it there.  I had, however, always wanted to go to the other Portland.  To check it out.  To see what it had to offer.  My honey felt the same.  Seemed fitting that on our 10th we would take a trip to that other Portland to see what we could see.  It was great.  Good restaurants, excellent scenery, really nice people, and funky in it’s own way, we enjoyed it very much.

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Roadtrippers.  I love this website.  We travel quite a bit.  Most especially, in recent years at least, we’ve gone on some major road trips here in the U.S.  This site allows you to plan your route and then see what sorts of places might be along it.  From practical to strange Roadtrippers has them all.   They also have an app, which rocks.  I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

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Cafe ZoJo.  It’s a local coffee shop that’s fairly new.  I’m not sure if we actually found this in 2013 or the year before, but never the less, I’m including it here.  The staff are friendly, with quick helpful smiles, the atmosphere is eclectic and comfortable, the food is tasty, and the coffee is sublime.  ZoJo is our go to for take away coffee.  I’ve never had better drip coffee in my life.  That’s saying a lot.

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Sleepy Creek Vineyards.  We actually discovered this place by way of a thing called the Fork in the Road Tour.  A few local farms, their goods, a nice drive with good friends, and we ended up, last stop on the tour, at Sleepy Creek.  We were given a tour of the vineyard,  an explanation of the bottling process, and then a tasting.  The wine was good, but the people were great, and the atmosphere was awesome.  Later, like a month or so, they hosted the Salk Fork River Art Festival.  Again, great setting, great wine, great people.  We were hooked.  They do several events a month including things like film festivals, live music, art festivals, weenie roasts, and of course wine tastings.  It’s worth the drive east.

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Cinnebarre in Salem, Oregon.  We live in Illinois now, but we still spend a significant amount of time in Oregon.  It’s where I’m from, and where my honey lived for over 30 years.  It’s home.  My mom lives in Salem, in the same house we lived in when I was in high school.  Salem is the capitol city, and has always been considered, amongst people who live in Portland anyway, a lessor town.  But in the last several years Salem has grown up a little, and funked out a bit as well.  To prove this point they now have a movie place downtown called Cinebarre.  It’s a chain, though there are only about seven or eight locations around the country.  The fact that one of those is in Salem is very cool.  Cinebarre is a movie theater and it’s a restaurant.  You get table service during the movie, which seems like it could distract you, but it doesn’t really.  Walk in, look at the menu before the movie starts, fill out your card, prop it up, and the wait staff comes to take your order via your card and then brings you the food while the movie is going.  You can keep ordering if you want to, they also have beer and wine.  It’s a kick and a unique movie experience.  I like it.

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Honda PCX 150 Scooter.  We used to own motorcycles.  Big motorcycles.  Hogs.  We had all the gear, went on rides, and thought we were slightly above all those scooter riders out there.  That’s the way it goes.  If you ride motorcycles you think scooter riders, or scooterists as I like to call them, are slightly beneath you.  Not really in an arrogant way, it’s just that as a motorcycle rider you’re cool.  As a scooterist you’re nerdy.  Until, of course, we gave up the motorcycles and bought a Honda scooter in 2013.  It’s beyond awesome.  It hauls buns, can carry both of us, is fun as hell to ride, and seems easier.  Maybe the easier part is just because you don’t have to shift, I don’t know.  But it’s zippy, and it makes a fantastic second car.  I so love to ride it.  Who would’ve thunk, those few short years ago, we would prefer a scooter, but we do.  I guess if that makes us nerds we proudly own it.  I’m a scooterist.  Damn straight I am.

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Here Comes The Sun

For some reason this version of Here Comes the Sun by Nina Simone makes me feel warm and happy.  Warm and happy seems like a great way to start off the New Year.  Here’s hoping everyone has a warm, happy, joy-filled 2014.

On Being Emotionally Correct

I’ve written and ranted over and over on this blog about being kinder to each other, about trying to be more compassionate, about listening instead of finger pointing, about being open instead of so closed we stop speaking the same language, about love and understanding.

Today I came across this bit from Ted Talks (which I love by the way) and Sally Kohn, who I’d honestly never heard of before today. She happens to be gay and liberal, but sexual orientation and politics don’t really factor into her message here.  In this talk she speaks about emotional correctness and how having a little compassion and understanding and openness can change the way we talk to each other.  It can change the conversation.  I might lead to change.  I couldn’t agree more.

Note:  There is a brief bit of language in here, if something like that might offend you. It’s really in context and she’s quoting someone, but I didn’t want to shock anyone who might be put off by that. And even if a bit of language is something that could put you off, you should look past it and listen, the message is worth it.  We could all use a bit more emotional correctness in our lives and in the world at large.

If You Give a Little Love, You Can Get a Little Love of Your Own

Yes, grand gestures are awesome, but it’s the small things we do every day that really make a difference.

Parts of this video include footage from the Liberty Mutual campaign called the responsibility project.  It’s by far my favorite ad campaign.  All about doing small things to help our fellow beings, human and animal alike.  Good deeds, just like bad deeds, create a wave.  As the wave moves it picks up and grows.  Lets use our power for good people.  We have a choice.  Choose love and help and kindness over fear and animosity and cruelty.  If you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own.  Positive energy instead of negative energy.  It’s a choice we make hundreds of times a day in small ways and big.  Think, and be better.  I’m trying.

 

Thankful Everyday – Twenty-Two

22.  I’m thankful for YouTube.  I’m not someone who watches loads of silly videos and in fact I haven’t done that hardly at all.  Mostly I watch, and listen to, music videos, live performances, and such.  Once in a while I use it for movie clips or trailers as well, but mostly it’s all about the music for me.  And what a wonderful thing it is to be able to sit with headphones on and listen to recordings of live performances.  I’m a tad obsessed with music, as I said in an earlier 30 days post, and YouTube is just another avenue for music listening.  I adore it.

Today I listened to this…

Even If I Tried – Even If I Wanted To

I just really listened to the lyrics of this song and it made me cry. Crying is not unusual for me, I’m emotional. It’s just that this basic message is one I want to shout from the rooftops — we are all people, all living our lives. So be kind, don’t judge, and love your fellow human for being just that, your fellow human. The end.

Say Something

Every once in awhile a song comes along and just grabs – at my heart, my head, my soul.  This is one of those songs.  So powerful.  Besides which, I’m a sucker for strings in a pop song.

39 Scary Movies for Halloween

I’m not a horror movie fan.  I know loads of people who love them, but for me the myriad of ways a person can die in the course of a two hour movie holds no appeal.  The all out slasher trend started with films like the original Halloween and Friday the 13th.  I watched them, like nearly everyone did.  I didn’t see them in the theater however, no.  I saw them from the comfort of my own couch with a pillow positioned to cover my face any time I needed it to, which was often.  That pretty much sums up my feeling about such things.  Best not seen at all, but if I have to there better be a pillow or a dog or a laptop or a blanket to block my view.  I’m a wimp.

There are, though, those other films, most of them older, that I do like watching.  The thrillers.  Those films more about the suspense and the build up of the tension than they are about the ax, or the ice pick, or the chainsaw.  Those films where story usually triumphs over finding more inventive and bizarre ways to kill a person.  Yes, I’ve included a couple of movies with their share of gore, but mostly these films are psychological in nature.

So without further ado, here we go.  In honor of All Hallow’s Eve I present Tam’s list of scary-ish films worth watching if you’re ever looking for a boo or two.

Psycho

Hitchcock knew what he was doing.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge fan.  Camera angles and tension filled moments and uncomfortable close ups.  He was a master of these things and of making people squirm in their seats.  His films have never lost their luster.  They’re timeless and terrific.

It

This book scared the crap out of me and the movie does a decent job of translating that boo factor.  It’s sort of the epitome of the what’s hiding in the closet or under the bed story. If you didn’t like clowns before, you certainly won’t like them after watching this.

The Shining

Apart from Shelley Duvall‘s appalling performance in this film, it’s a classic.  Again, I loved this book.  Mr. King knows how to put in the scare.  If you’ve ever been in a big place that was mostly deserted you get the vibe of this film.  So much space, who knows what could’ve and might happen.  Plus the outer shots of the hotel are actually Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.

The Haunting (1963)

This film creeped me out.  Haunted houses are scary, and when you add in neurotic humans and the unexplainable, it’s scarier still.

The Birds

This film is all about nature going wrong.  One minute everything is angelic and normal, the next minute it’s attacking you and you have no idea why.  We are not in control and in pure Hitchcock fashion we also have no idea why any of it is happening.

The Andromeda Strain

Contamination is never a good thing.

Five Million Years to Earth (Quatermass and the Pit)

I love science fiction, it’s my favorite genre of film.  This particular one is cool and creepy.

The Amityville Horror (1979)

Creepy.  This movie creeped me out when I was a kid.  I still have a hard time looking at houses with those windows.

The Exorcist

This movie scares the crap out of me.  Possession is always creepy.  A classic.

Invasion of the Bodysnatchers

They get you when you sleep.  That last scene… uhg.

28 Days Later

My favorite, if you can even say you have a favorite, zombie movie.

Sixth Sense

“I see dead people.”  Yes he does.  A really great ghost story.

Village of the Damned

Creepy kids.

Poltergeist

The moral — don’t build on a cemetery.

Signs

Reach for the bat.

Duel

Simple chase movie — not.  It’s relentless.

Deliverance

Just some guys out for an adventurous weekend who happen to hear some banjo music.

Pitch Black

Things that go bump in the night.

Single White Female

Maybe living alone is best.

The Vanishing

Some mysteries should be left alone.

Jagged Edge

Murder.

Silence of the Lambs

Hannibal.  Need I say more.

The Dead Zone

Semi-cheesy, but that’s OK.  How far would you go to change the future?  From another Stephen King story, this one is uncomfortable.

The Village

What’s out there?

Jacob’s Ladder

Torment. Demons. Disturbing.

Alien

Space. Isolation. A vicious enemy.  I saw this in the theater with my sister Kay.  It was awful, and oh so good.

The Thing

Are people, and dogs, who they seem to be?

Nosferatu

Fingers.  White creepy skin.  No dialogue. Moody.

The Tingler

I wish I could’ve seen this in the theater.  Some great screaming.  Vincent Price was the man.

Dead Ringers

“Separation can be a terrifying thing.”  Disturbing.  Perhaps the most disturbing film I’ve ever seen.

Scanners

Heads explode.  Enough said.

The Omen (1976)

“This is not a human child.  Make no mistake.”  Uh, yeah.

Fire In The Sky

Alien abduction.

Stigmata

Intense.

The Others

“Sometimes the world of the dead gets mixed up with the world of the living.”

The Mothman Prophecies

Creepy imagery. Strange voices on the phone.

The Fog (1980)

Don’t go into the fog.

Frailty

Hunting demons is exhaustive work.

What Lies Beneath

Ghosts with messages.

Jaws

One great monster movie.  Made everyone afraid to go in the water.

Our Deepest Fear

I play fantasy football, and fantasy basketball, and fantasy baseball.  I’ve played fantasy football for some time now.  First with a group from work (we still play, which is awesome), then with the POD (we still play, which is awesome), and now with the CREW (which is also equally awesome).  Fantasy basketball started last year with the CREW and was so much fun we’re doing it again this year.  I see it as becoming a yearly thing, something we all look forward to.  Baseball?  We did it this season.  It wasn’t as much fun, but I think with some tweaks by the commish (that’s me), we might make it slightly more fun next year.  At least we’ll give it a try.

The point of writing about all this fantasy sports play is really not to write about all this fantasy sports play.  What I wanted to write about was inspiration, power, and being yourself, in all your glory.

I started out  this morning by looking for inspiring videos to post on the league page of our ramping up fantasy basketball league.  I’m the commish of that league and like to throw out notes and inspiring videos every once in a while to add a bit of spice to it.  It’s fun.  So I was looking for videos and came across one I’d seen before, and one I probably posted last year during the basketball season.  It’s a clip from the movie Coach Carter and is, I think, one of the most inspirational scenes of its kind in film.  The poem, abridged, spoken in this clip, is by Marianne Williamson and is called Our Deepest Fear.  I thought these beautiful words were a lovely reminder about what is true for all of us — be all you can be, be all that you are, don’t be afraid — live, and inspire.

Our Deepest Fear
By Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Love Wins

I just watched this video on Facebook after a friend posted it. It made me tear up. Love is love, people. Plain and simple. It brings joy and laughter and happiness to all who experience and witness it. There is no more powerful force on the planet than the love we feel for each other. Love wins.

The Science of Happiness

I get feeds.  You know, tidbits of info from various sources bringing in all type and manner of information.  I subscribe to some.  One, Upworthy, comes across on my Facebook news feed.  I like this one in particular because the stuff is usually interesting, informative, and many times it’s positive.  There’s loads of negative emotion, news, “stuff” out there these days and my opinion is that anything positive and uplifting is a very good thing.  The whole good-things-out-into-the-universe-is-important perspective.  Positive vibrations and all that.  It’s not solely that, but much of the time it is that.

Without going into it too much, I particularly loved this one.  It made me tear up, which if you know me doesn’t take much sometimes, but seriously… this is good.  Plus the group who made it is called Soul Pancake.  C’mon… that rocks.

Watch this, and get happy….

 

A Thousand Years

I’m sentimental, empathetic, and very in tune with the feelings of others.  Always have been.  It’s the thing that makes me cry during silly commercials, sporting events, and when I hear a song on the radio that makes me think of someone I love.  I feel things deeply.  All things.  Sometimes this makes it hard, I’m sure, to live with me.  When I’m upset I’m emotionally upset, which I myself don’t always understand, and when I feel love I am so full of love I sometimes fear my body won’t be able to contain it.  All of this emotion comes from the same well deep inside of me.  It is at times overwhelming, explosive, warm, joyous, and all consuming.  I don’t always appreciate these deep feelings I have, and have sometimes wished I didn’t have them at all, but honestly, I’m glad I’m like this.  I’m glad I see, and feel, the world this way, through this blanket of empathy and love.

Earlier today I watched a Youtube video of a man using a flash mob, in Central Park, to help him propose to his boyfriend of many years.  It was beautiful.  Simply put, love is love.  There can’t be too much of it in the world, in my opinion.  So while I was watching this video I started to cry.  It was moving, and as noted above, I’m a crier.  I felt for them, was happy for them, happy for the people watching, happy for one of the guys Mom’s who was there to see it and crying herself.  My honey looked over at me, we were both in our office, and said you must be watching something emotional.  I had headphones on and tears streaming down my face.  She’s used to this.

I watched the video and listened to that song and thought, once again, of my honey and how lucky I am to have her.  It’s really, I think, why I was crying today.  I was overwhelmed by the love I feel for her.  I am difficult to live with.  Difficult to love sometimes I think, but she is always right there, loving me as if it’s easy for her.  Making me feel as though it’s easy for her, as though it’s something she has always done, something that’s natural and true.  I am so blessed and lucky that she somehow manages to understand me and love me for all that I am, good and difficult.  For 10 years.  10.  I can’t express how much I love her.  It comes from a place so deep inside that deep well of mine that I don’t think there are actually words.  Just feelings so big and strong and true they defy articulation.

Honey… I have loved you for a thousand years and will love you for a thousand more….

Earth Hour 2013

On March 23 8:30 PM people in cities all over the world will do something as a symbol of hope.  They will turn off their lights in their homes for an hour. Leaders of cities around the world will switch off power to monuments and buildings. Companies will turn off power to entire skyscrapers. Will you?

 

Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

When I was growing up I watched, like many of us, the holiday film “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town”. I was five the first time it aired. It’s amazing how something so simple as a young kid watching a fun holiday movie can stick with a person all these years later, and yet it has.

For some reason, unknown to me actually, whenever I’m facing some difficult time in my life, and there have been a few of those, I hear the words of the song “Put One Foot In Front Of The Other” in my head. It pops in there, all on it’s own. Most specifically the chorus, “put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walkin’ cross the flo-o-or, put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walkin’ out the door”. It’s meant to be a song about trying and making a change. For me it is those things, but it’s also a song about moving forward, one step at a time. It says to me that as long as you keep taking one step and then another you will move through whatever it is that’s hard into somewhere new and beautiful. It’s a song about fortitude and perseverance, it’s about looking forward instead of backward. To me it’s a song of hope.

Putting one foot in front of the other gives me comfort and reminds me, in the larger scheme of things, that though life can be hard, inconvenient, scary, and awfully painful sometimes, it can also be magical and beautiful and full of wonder and love.

Today I thought I’d share the little song that’s had such an impact on my life because I love it, but also because maybe there’s a person out there who will feel the message, get inspired, get up, and put one foot in front of the other. It works for me.

Hallelujah

I love this song and it always seems sort of fitting to play it during the holidays. This is a fantastic 2009 live version with Portland singers Storm Large, Holcombe Waller, and Oregon born Wade Mccollum at one of my favorite Portland venues, the Aladdin Theater. Happy Holidays.

Driving Back From O’Hare

I took Martin to the airport on Monday. It’s a long drive, nearly three hours one way. The drive was uneventful and the weather was gorgeous. On the way home I decided to semi-document the drive. I recently found a case with a bunch of old mix CDs I’d made. We’ve been working our way around that case since the find. I had one in on Monday. So here it is… Illinois countryside, in bits, accompanied by the track that happened to be playing at the time. There are a few of these, peruse them at your leisure, or not. I find this amusing… but then I would. It combines music, driving, and a bit of the tech stuff I love. The first video is a tad long. Feel free to skip part of it should you need to move on. This is just one of the quirky things I find myself doing. Enjoy…

Finding Oregon

This just made me cry… Though I am really enjoying and loving my life here in Illinois, Oregon will always be my home.

For My Honey

Every day I am thankful for you. I couldn’t agree more with the lyrics of this song. I am blessed and lucky to have… This kind of love….