Archive for the ‘Playlists’ Category

Guilty Pleasure Songs

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

You know how you listen to a certain song and instantly feel revived and happy? For some reason, most of those songs for me (with the sole exception of everything the Indigo Girls ever sang) are solidly rooted in the 70s and early 80s. I’ve no real idea why, other than I have sharp and delicious memories of the plastic wood record player in my yellow-flowered bedroom spinning 45s blasting Air Supply and Abba. Of course, I also used to put on low-attended shows where I’d interpretively dance to Barry Manilow’s Daybreak or Marie Osmond’s Paper Roses. Especially awesome was how I’d drag my dented cassette recorder to the junior high parking lot around the corner from my house and expressively rollerskate to the Fame soundtrack, hoping the drama teacher would glimpse out the window and star-struckedly ask me to be the lead in his next play.

 

That’s almost as bad as how I tried out for cheerleading 29 times and only made it once because the entire cheer squad quit to play girl’s basketball and the pep coach had to cobble together a pom pom group from the dregs of auditioneers. I was like the alternate’s alternate’s understudy.

 

I need to take a minute.

 

It hurts to think about sometimes.

 

I still have the picture of me in a hand-me-down cheer outfit trying to do the splits and only making it halfway down while I cover my lack of flexibility with spastic jazz hands.

 

Thank God for the music. At night, while recovering from my sore splits attempts and coming to grips with the fact that I had a way with words but not with cheers, I put on my 45s or my tapes and felt OK just the way Jesus made me. Always have, always will, forever and ever amen (a great song by Randy Travis).

 

My point is there are songs that will lift me up every time, and most of them are cheesy and I am sorry for that. However, I feel compelled to list them here because I just went on a song-listening rampage and I have to spread the cheese (in this analogy, the songs are the cheese and you are the cracker).

I’m betting right about now you can totally picture me rollerskating to Out Here On My Own, and that adjunctively, it will not surprise you to discover the drama teacher never did look out the window.

 

These are the songs that I’d sing at night (with some modern twists thrown in). Also, none of them have a unifying theme or throughline, other than they make me happy.

 

Looks Like We Made It

 

 

This One’s For You

 

 

Rainy Days and Mondays

 

 

Please Come to Boston

 

 

Brandy

 

Dancin’ in the Moonlight

 

 

My Eyes Adored You

 

 

Hooked on a Feeling

 

 

Lady

 

 

Crazy Love

 

 

Danny’s Song

 

 

Somebody Loves You

 

 

Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady

 

 

Funny Face

 

 

Hold the Line

 

 

Time for Me To Fly

 

 

You Make My Dreams Come True

 

 


Caught Up in You

 

 

The Sign

 

 

MmmBop

 

 

and of course, the encore:

 

 

Aren’t you glad you stopped by today?

 

Look! Dorky jazz hands!

 

(What are your guilty pleasure songs? For the love of rejected cheerleaders everywhere, I hope they’re cheesier than mine.)

 

Melodiusnessessness (Which is more than one melodious)

Friday, February 4th, 2011

(This is a re-post from 2009 because my head hurts and I like music.

 

Really, those are the two reasons.)

 

I’ve oft professed my undying love for music. As an angsty adolescent, I laid in bed with earphones every night, my yellow Sony walkman clasped in my hands, listening to the Little River Band’s Help is On the Way or Chicago’s I’ve Been Searching So Long. Way before that, as a new-to-school third-grader, I stuck Neil Diamond’s Beautiful Noise on my parent’s dark wood phonograph console with its red velvet screened doors, and wished my world were how it sounded on that song. Way after that, I played Marc Cohn’s Things We’ve Handed Down to Toots as she floated in utero (also, R. Kelley’s Ignition, and I can think of no better example to illustrate the dichotomy of my personality) (or hers).

 

In between and far beyond, it’s been Toad the Wet Sprocket or Melissa Etheridge spun to excess as my heart broke during starless bitter nights in my L.A. studio apartment, Fisher blessing my wedding, and Sarah McLachlan and Wilco for everything, just everything.

 

If I had to pinpoint, I’d say my musical preference runs maudlin, soul thrumming, melancholy. Most of the time, the music I listen to are like poems I’d wish I’d written and set to music. I’m a lyrics girl first, but the melody’s got to be there, too. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, here: No one does THAT better than the Indigo Girls. Still, I need music — all music — every kind, every word, every soul thrum. Truly they are Notes to Soothe the Savage Cells.

 

My point? Well, I’d get to it eventually. I’m participating in Thursday’s Drive music carnival, and wanted to jot down some of the songs that (a) Make me remember who I am or (b) Remind me of who I want to be or (c) Give me a margarita craving.

 

So here we go.

 

My Old Standards

(Note: Listen far away from gas stoves big enough to fit your head.)

 


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

 

My New Standards

[Note: Wait. Could these songs explain this?]

 


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

 

My “Workout” Songs

[Note: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!]

 


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

 

Hope you enjoy some of these songs. And one last thing because I can’t help myself: If you want a great CD to play during mid-energy cocktail parties, you must get THIS.

 

PROMPTuesday #137: Zen

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

zen-stones

 

Everyone? When is the last time you felt completely at peace? That all was right with the world?

 

Please share your moment.

 

And adjunctively (possibly and probably a made-up word), is there something you do to reach a zen state?

 

Kindly share your mantra.

 

If you would, post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.

 

First time to PROMPTuesday? Read a bit about it here. Want to see what’s been written in the past? Catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive here.

 

Momma Love

Monday, January 17th, 2011

I am writing this for Auds’ beautiful daughter, Meg.

 

For some reason, I never expected to have children, despite Kathy King’s mumbo-jumbo “yarn” trick sophomore year that told me I’d be a mother to 16.
I didn’t think I’d be married, either. I will admit that for awhile there, I DID wonder if maybe that “mother to 16” prediction foresaw I’d be a cat spinster living in a hoarder poo house, waving a kitten tutu in the air while trilling “Come here Mr. Mittenpaws, mummy has something for you.”

 

But because I really and truly believed I’d be single for the rest of my life — not because I wanted to, and not because I needed to, but because I didn’t think I’d find someone who didn’t bug the living crap out of me on a daily basis — I never planned for the possibility of children. And then I met The Rock and everything changed in a blink.

 

Within a year, I knew I could marry him and not mind when he talked, breathed, or ate cereal loudly. Three years after that, I knew I wanted to have children with him. But still, I just couldn’t imagine it. Kids? Me? I was in no position to be a role model to anybody. And remembering to feed them would be equally as difficult. Strange, but when I went off the pill, I continued to think it would be a long while before I became pregnant. I regaled The Rock with horror stories of thirty-somethings who put their careers first, then tried to get pregnant to no avail because they had old eggs.

 

That didn’t work as planned either.

 

The same month I went off the pill is the same month we conceived Toots.

 

I couldn’t believe it.

 

There would be children in our lives! Not ballet cats, children.

 

The Rock and I weren’t all there was anymore. There would be another and she would be of us and from us and probably not a kitten.

 

The next few months, I did as moms-to-be do: picked out baby clothes, researched cribs, ate absurd amounts of chocolate. My belly grew and as it swelled, so did my spirit. I shared all my favorites with my baby bean: The Indigo Girls, big breakfasts, and Lifetime TV. We were a team. All three of us.

 

Then one day, I had an ultrasound at one of those newfangled 3D imaging places. The Rock and I gasped — quite literally — when we saw our little girl’s face. A girl! A face! She’s real! We’re having a baby! A baby! With a face!

 

OH MY GOD.

 

That was a turning point for me, for The Rock and I both. Up until then, our minds knew we were having a child, but somehow that idea didn’t take full root in our hearts.

 

I remembered just then how my mom would stare at us kids when we were growing up. A long, sometimes wistful look full of wonder and I didn’t know what else. Every single one of us four kids protested when we found ourselves on the receiving end of that stare. “Mom!” we’d protest. “Stop it! You’re freaking us out!” She’d look a little sad as she broke her gaze and now I know why.

 

We didn’t get it. And she knew we never would until we were parents of our own.

 

From that moment in the ultrasound room when I saw Toot’s face I haven’t stopped looking at her in the same way my mom used to all those years ago.

 

And the other thing? Next to the wonder? The kind of deep, searing, soul love you’ll never imagine until you feel it yourself.

 

That love is coming for you, Meg.

 

And it’s way better than the cat’s meow.

 

Lessons

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

For as long as I can remember, I’ve watched my dad work hard. Beyond the norm, hard. Beyond the extraordinary, hard. He’s the sort to put his all into whatever he does and he gave his heart, soul, mind, and body to every company for which he worked. He wasn’t home much when I was a kid, because he was constantly on the road, taking the trips no one else would, doing the jobs no else did. And for as long as I can remember, I watched my dad be taken advantage of. He expected the best of people, always trusted to a fault, and continued to give long after they had moved on.

 

This trust in people inspired me when I was a child. My dad would — and does — offer the coat off his back. He’s been screwed countless times in business, but if the screwer were to call my dad and ask for help, my dad would once again give. I admire his faith in humankind and that he chooses to be trusting even when the stakes are high, as they are in business, but as a result of his choice, he’s suffered some. He doesn’t get contracts signed — to him a handshake and your word is enough; he doesn’t ask for as much as he’s worth — he believes you will reward him when your pay-off comes in; and he errs on the side of you have his best interests at heart — each and every time.

 

I know some of you will think my dad is an idiot, but I assure you he isn’t. However, his judgment is often clouded by the stalwart belief that people will always choose the right thing based solely on its rightness. It breaks my heart to write that this tact hasn’t paid off for him. Not in the way most people consider pay-offs anyway. He is one of the most beloved men in his industry, but also one of those guys who is still working well past retirement. His ship never came in, docking instead at the ports of the many, many people he’s helped along the way. There was a man he trusted who tricked him out of his entire 401K in a false-stock scheme, another man who used my dad’s credit card for “business expenses” and then disappeared, and an associate who calls countless times a day, every day, weekends included, for advice on a start-up business. Of course, he will pay my dad for his time and work when the business takes off. And although that promise was three years ago, the guy is still calling. And my dad is still answering.

 

I’m not so naive to think that my dad’s business choices were or are wise. The way of the world is that you sign contracts, you don’t expect someone is going to repay your kindness or hard work, you ask for what you’re worth, you choose your friends and associates based on mutual trust. But I’d rather a father who lives from the soul than from the what-can-you-do-for-me. And how do you separate the two? How can you be one person in business and another person altogether in your heart? My dad isn’t. The two are the same for him.

 

He taught me well.

 

I live from the soul just like my dad, not so much from the brain….

 

Or the pocketbook. I always see the best in people. And that’s not a brag, it’s the (sometimes) heartbreaking truth. I don’t ascribe self-serving motivations to friends, lovers, co-workers. Those perceptions are foreign and alien to me. When I see reasonable indifference to the human factor in business (so easy to rationalize!), life, or love, it does not compute.

 

But I am coming to see that this blind adherence to “everyone is good! let’s just love each other!” is more damaging to me in the business sense than not. Because it excludes discernment. Just like Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” To me, this doesn’t mean I drop trust, it means that I make better choices about who surrounds me. That I expect they have my best interests at heart, that my hard work means something, that there is soul-heart involved, but to be prepared when it doesn’t go that way. A grain of salt is always a good thing, I suppose.

 

But this is really about “those” people, it is about me. You will be less likely to be taken advantage of, if you believe you shouldn’t be. The core issue is worthiness. A little something that colors so much of my life. As it is with my dad, it is with me: There is a small part of us that believes we are not worth taking care of ourselves. I can’t tell you how many times I will get in the back of the line because I don’t think I deserve to be in the front. I’ve let opportunities slip by because I don’t want to leave someone out, or I put friendship above all else. Ahead of reason even.

 

That was my decision. And I am sure I will continue to make judgment calls based on what my soul wants to believe about inherent goodness. Yet, I find myself processing how I can make it less black and white. This person can be a good friend, but not always tell you the truth? Or someone can pretend they like you for what you can do for them, but they are still good people? Friendship is friendship? Unless it’s business? I need to reconcile treating myself well in conducting my business while treating others well, too, and knowing I deserve to take care of myself. Even when money is at stake. Especially when money is at stake. This is about personal worth, and belief in self, and knowing when to draw the line between being taken advantage of, taking care of you — and as it turns out — taking care of your family.

 

Because see, as long as I saw my dad work to the bone, and give his all, and trust with his heart to the exclusion of good sense, I saw his family pay for it. I certainly don’t wish he would have been a different man. Or at all like the people who took his trust. Just that he would have realized what a good man he was at that time — and still is — and have known that good people can be good at business too. That you can exist from the soul and be successful at what you do. That other people didn’t always have to be first just because they pushed past him and he was too nice to remain standing tall at the front of the line. Because I don’t and never will believe that business is mutually exclusive of decency. Or vice versa.

 

It doesn’t take a neuroscientist to figure out I’ve been recently affected by a situation akin to the above. I certainly don’t fault the decisions made, not by a long shot. I mean, in all honesty, I get it. I’m not mad or anything close to it. Just surprised, I guess would be the best word. Or if I’m remaining truthful, hurt. And I thought to write this because I am coming to see that there is no place for “hurt” in business. And while I get that, I still don’t know what to do with it. I suppose you move on, and take care of you, and stay true to who you are. If anything was missing from my dad’s approach to business, it was the second point.

 

I’m still figuring out the rest.

 

“The Room”

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Most days, I choose not to look inside and close “the room” to general viewing. If someone forgets to pull the door shut, I, unprepared for the vicious assault on my senses, cringe as I walk past, and pretend it doesn’t exist. Just doesn’t exist. It’s a figment of my imagination, a portal to another, more messy universe, a gateway to hell. Just look at that splotchy, dog-eared comforter, that leaning tower of zig-zagged books, the Easter baskets perched haphazardly on the narrow shelf in the closet, barely buffeting the tumble of Halloween’s plastic pumpkins, homemade baby shower invitations, and mismatched chafing dishes. One false move — or a minor California earthquake — and the whole thing would fall into a great heap upon the floor, mixing into an unfavorable cocktail of enormous killer dust bunnies and spider carcasses.

 

Sometimes I worry that the kids will wander into “the room” and never make their way back out, doomed to forever walk the maze of discarded cordless telephones and Colecovision user manuals. Or perhaps haplessly fall into a drawer stuffed to the nines with homeless Allen wrenches, that old pillow that used to match that old couch, and my retired scent potpourri. They don’t make patchouli like they used to! Lord knows there’ve been days when I haven’t seen the children for an hour or two, and upon realizing the preternatural silence, jump up in a panic, rush to “the room” and search for them among spindly tinsel and tattered suitcases. Often I pull them back out, barely alive, almost smothered to death by 85 bags of tea lights and the detritus from my brief foray into the nutriceuticals business.

 

That’s right.

 

It’s the guest room.

 

But there’s good to be had there, I suppose. Honey, I could say. Remember that Tandy computer you bought in 1982 A.D.? If you want to visit it for old time’s sake, just look in the northeast corner! What do you mean you can’t see it? Did you move the giant Bozo punching bag? Napoleon Dynamite’s liger? Mary Celeste‘s crew remains? There! Now you see it! You’re welcome, honey!

 

liger

 

Lives in “The Room.”

 

Or if I ever wanted to walk down memory lane. Why, I could visit with my plaid jumper from St. Mary’s grade school! Hi, old jumper! I would call out jovially. What are you doing here? Good to see you, old jumper! Why don’t you introduce me to your moth friends! Or maybe I want to look through vintage yearbooks. So many to choose from! Did I want to page through my, my husband’s, or my brothers’ (both of them) yearbooks? Doesn’t matter! I got ’em all. Just hanging out next to the garden gnome and George Foreman grill. Someday I plan to use both!

 

eds-jumper2

 

Moth friends? Would you leave just a little bit of this jumper intact for my daughters to see when they’re old enough to care that their mother was a repressed Catholic schoolgirl who keeps this jumper around to remind herself that Sister Camille is probably too arthritic now to rap her fingers with a wooden ruler?

 

Really, I need to look on the bright side. This is a room of many delights, is what it is. Not where organization and good sense go to die! There’s so much fun to be had in this room. It’s like a museum! I think you should stop by and see for yourself. Just don’t plan to stay over because…

 

I don’t have the room.

 

Sunday’s Music

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

I used to do this Playlist thing on here, and I miss it, so today I am resurrecting it for my own amusement.

 

Recently, I decided to give a listen to some “world” music and other tunes completely foreign to my element because I wanted to jump out of my skin a little. I tend to listen to angsty, melancholy, folky, inner soul kinda stuff, and thought I should mix it up and tune my ears to something else, which I’m sharing here (although some of it is still angsty and melancholy — just in another language).

 

Due to extreme Sunday laziness, I am posting a link to my iTunes imix…but here is a list of the songs in textual (that word cracks me up) format:

 

 

I feel more cosmopolitan and loungey already.

 

Melodiusness

Friday, February 27th, 2009

I’ve oft professed my undying love for music. As an angsty adolescent, I laid in bed with earphones every night, my yellow Sony walkman clasped in my hands, listening to the Little River Band’s Help is On the Way or Chicago’s I’ve Been Searching So Long. Way before that, as a new-to-school third-grader, I stuck Neil Diamond’s Beautiful Noise on my parent’s dark wood phonograph console with its red velvet screened doors, and wished my world were how it sounded on that song. Way after that, I played Marc Cohn’s Things We’ve Handed Down to Toots as she floated in utero (also, R. Kelley’s Ignition, and I can think of no better example to illustrate the dichotomy of my personality) (or hers).

 

In between and far beyond, it’s been Toad the Wet Sprocket or Melissa Etheridge spun to excess as my heart broke during starless bitter nights in my L.A. studio apartment, Fisher blessing my wedding, and Sarah McLachlan and Wilco for everything, just everything.

 

If I had to pinpoint, I’d say my musical preference runs maudlin, soul thrumming, melancholy. Most of the time, the music I listen to are like poems I’d wish I’d written and set to music. I’m a lyrics girl first, but the melody’s got to be there, too. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, here: No one does THAT better than the Indigo Girls. Still, I need music — all music — every kind, every word, every soul thrum. Truly they are Notes to Soothe the Savage Cells.

 

My point? Well, I’d get to it eventually. I’m participating in Thursday’s Drive music carnival, and wanted to jot down some of the songs that (a) Make me remember who I am or (b) Remind me of who I want to be or (c) Give me a margarita craving.

 

So here we go.

 

My Old Standards

(Note: Listen far away from gas stoves big enough to fit your head.)

 


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

 

My New Standards

[Note: Wait. Could these songs explain this?]

 


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

 

My “Workout” Songs

[Note: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!]

 


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

 

Hope you enjoy some of these songs. And one last thing because I can’t help myself: If you want a great CD to play during mid-energy cocktail parties, you must get THIS.