My pal Jimi (ftcs.wordpress.com and real life best friend) started doing these a few weeks ago and they cracked me up. So I decided to give it a try and I had some fun. And maybe discovered that I have some unspoken issues with a few things and or people. I’ll leave it to the Post It’s!
I drank too much wine last night. Well not too much last night, but my head is telling me today that it was probably too much. I was cracking myself up, (Mike didn’t think I was too hilarious), watching the Cavs beat the Suns, and making candied almonds and cashews for the first time. (Thanks for the recipe Kat!) Anyways, today is my Friday and the end of the day cannot come soon enough.
My brother and the kids are up from Texas, which is fantastic, and I met Steve for lunch yesterday at Panera. (White cheddar mac and cheese? Thanks Panera!). Somehow the conversation turned to the health of one of our aunts who may or may not be doing very well. We aren’t sure. Everything is a big secret. Steve was like “Man, getting older scares the shit out of me. Your body just shuts down. You have to do all you can to take care of it and even then is that really enough?” He then told me a story about a couple he met down in Texas, 87 and 85 years old, still married and casually just said “well there’s nothing left for us to do but go to Florida for a few years then die.” Not to be morbid or anything, but is that all we have in the end? A dinner at 4:30 at a diner in Naples then death?
I’m bringing this up because this was the second time in as many days getting older has come up. And I don’t mean getting older as in turning 30, I mean OLDER older. Sunday night Jimi had mentioned how he thinks about it every day. I had to stop and ask him if he was being sarcastic. He was being serious. I think that thinking about getting older is kinda like thinking about death. It doesn’t scare you, it doesn’t affect your daily existence, but it is in the back of your head at all times. If it wasn’t, people wouldn’t have 401K’s, save their change, and say Hail Mary’s when their plane takes off.
Mike and I took a TON of blankets for donation to the men’s shelter on Lakeside, we were thanked by multiple people waiting in line to receive the shelters services, and the workers themselves. I have a soft spot for the homeless. No one will ever know their story, how they got there, or what they are feeling. The thing that gets me is the whole you don’t know what happened in their lives that got them to the point they are currently at. It could, essentially happen to anyone if you really think about it. That’s why I think the homeless are a group I will always go out of my way to help be it through donations, a smile, or buying someone a piece of pizza on West 6th. God or Buddha or whoever willing, I hope these people have a warm place to sleep and food to eat this winter.
I think the holidays make everyone a little introspective and self-reflective. You think of family and friends passed. The year that is being folded away in a blur of the holiday madness. And you think of the new year that is fast approaching. And you think of the direction your life is taking. The worries of getting older or if you are headed down the right path continue on beyond the holidays, and even though there are things to be changed or improved, everyone should be happy with their own little lives they have created. I know I am.
My dad always says you can’t go through life being afraid of anything, you have to be careful, but not afraid. I’ve lived my life by this. So I won’t be afraid of growing older and I won’t be afraid of what 2010 and beyond will bring. But I will be careful with myself and with others.
**Reviewed for www.luxuryreading.com**
Say You’re One of Them
Say You’re One of Them, by Uwem Akpan is a harrowing and heartbreaking must read for anyone curious or outraged by the often unspoken atrocities that are often so common in Africa. This novel grips the reader and pulls at all kinds of emotions from the start. Akpan is an excellent storyteller who puts the reader right into the thick of his storylines and right into the homes of the characters. This intimate look allows for the readers to not only see what the characters are seeing but also allows for them to feel the intense emotions that are unfolding.
This was honestly the first audio book I have ever listened to. I must say, this is something that I hope to continue. It was great heading to work and having a story stream out and make me think early in the morning. Say You’re One of Them, is not a feel good read, but I did enjoy listening to it. The book made Oprah’s prestigious book club list and it is easy to see why it did. The audio version only contained three stories, My Parent’s Bedroom, An Ex-mas Feast, and What Language is That. Each story contains a different harrowing story from a different part of Africa. The most striking point about this book is that each story is told through the eyes of a child. My Parent’s Bedroom, tells the story through the eyes of Monique, a young girl with a Tutsi mother and a Hutu father who witnesses brutality in her own home. Her pain becomes the readers. I was not a fan of the story An Ex-mas Feast, for some reason I was unable to get into the narration or really follow along. This story was about a young girl’s descent into prostitution so her brother could go to school. The last story, What Language is That, showed the unfairness of politics by showcasing how two little girls were unable to be friends because they were not of the same religion.
The narration of this book, through the voices of Robin Miles and Dion Graham, made the stories flow even more and added depth and emotion to each story. Especially the stories read by Miles. I think if I would have read this book, instead of listened to it, I would have not have had the same emotional reaction to the stories that I received because I heard the anguish in the storytellers voice. Author Uwem Akpan did an excellent job with bringing life and passion to issues that many choose to ignore. I hope he will continue to write more on Africa and continue to raise awareness in the process.
I wrote this awhile ago and forgot to post this here. Since Joshua Jesty is a great dude and I am so absent-minded. I will finally post this here. Also, for those of you in the Cleveland area, he has a show Saturday night at the Winchester in Lakewood. If you can’t make it, at least check out some tunes from the album.
Joshua Jesty has been a staple in the Cleveland music scene for quite some time. Most notably for his involvement with This is Exploding, the Cleveland Lottery League, and his previous solo projects, such as the release of Finally Joshua Jesty is Famous, his first album, and miscellaneous collaborative work. Released in August of this year, his second full length album, Girl, is truly some of his very best work. Girl is more refined then Finally Joshua Jesty is Famous and as the record unfolds, Jesty unfolds along with it. The lyrics are intricate, yet relatable, “Did you ever think you might be wrong” and each tempo is set perfectly with the mood and tune of each track. This is particularly evident on Don’t Make Me Fall for You.
Jesty has a distinct voice, one which bends seamlessly to each melody, yet never loses clarity. His vocal range is impressive; he can sing in a soft, audible whisper then follow it quickly, hitting strong notes and blending tones, never missing a beat while increasing volume and intensity. On You Make Me Feel Like Dying, Jesty’s voice bears an eerie resemblance to Weezer’s lead singer Rivers Cuomo. Yet on One Night Fall, Jesty’s voice shifts and the tone darkens. His voice moves far away, becomes grainy, and fades into the music on this track, yet somehow manages not to get lost. The heavy instrumentals, with the vocals not being the focus in this song is a welcome shift from some solo projects that seem to only focus on words.
The whole album is a mixture of sound and ideas. My two favorite tracks on the album are Be Quiet and Some Other Someone. Both are very different yet both show different musical capabilities of Jesty. The sound is hard to be categorized on this record, the instrumentals flow and blend, and often share the spotlight with the vocals. Each track and arrangement brings a new level. Girl is by far Joshua Jesty’s best and most profound work yet.
Somebody worth Hurting
Speak to Me
You Make Me Feel like Dying
From Invincible to Invisible
Some Other Someone
One Night Fall
I See God in You
Don’t Make Me Fall for You
Version of Me
I’m Not Worried
Take the Love
Despite the Temporary Nature of the Mess We’re In
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My eyes always are attracted to bright bold colors and lots of glitter and glam. Usually, in reading fashion magazines, these are the most expensive items on the page. my OMG I love it!! Is usually followed by HOLY SHIT IT’S $1200!! Next. So, because I always do this, I decided to make a completely false Christmas list of my most coveted items of the season. And by coveted I mean, FANTASY items.
Enjoy. And feel free to tell me yours.
Please excuse my rambling, my brain is foggy and my eyes can’t focus. It’s been hell wrapping up this semester. One more paper to finish tonight, then I can have my social life back. Well, at least for 6 weeks. I intend on enjoying and using every second of it. And partying. Yes, lots of partying. I feel like I have no stories, so perhaps some stories need to be created.
Lately, though not this week, I feel the universe has slowly been regaining some focus for me. I’ve been doing my own writing again, I trusted my Pisces intuition, and I’ve been feeling good. So i’m hoping 6 weeks off will allow for some time for both fun and self-reflection. I think often we get so caught up in routine that we forget that we need to stop sometimes and just relax. I know I am guilty of this a lot. I may not ever be able to run out of things to talk about or I may never be able to shut my mind off, but I can make a conscious effort to quiet both my mouth and my head.
I will say, I am never bored. Ever. I hear how bored people are and I don’t get it. Go do something. Read. Leave. Clean. Call someone. One should never sit and stew upon their boredom. Maybe I just don’t have time to bored. Maybe I just have too many interests and too many contacts in my phone. Sometimes I think I would like to do a weekend retreat somewhere. Leave the phone at home and just get away by myself. Would I be bored then? Or would I sit and write and reflect and not even miss a thing? Maybe this is something I really need to look into.
Sometimes I feel people get caught up in their delusions. They watch too much TV. They think the things that happen to Carrie Bradshaw or Blair Waldorf are reality. As much as I love those shows, I know that isn’t life. Would I complain if it was? No, but I know that isn’t my existence. I think too often people who are sheltered, by choice, are often the first to throw stones. And they do so vehemently and with force, then turn away unblinking, unbeknownst to the pain they may have caused. Maybe they can’t face reality. Maybe they don’t like themselves. Maybe they have NO idea that they even act this way. I am not attacking one person I am just venting in general. I don’t expect an answer, I just have been noticing it lately. Everyone works hard. And everyone deserves happiness. I just feel people shouldn’t strive to take that way from people because they don’t think Carrie Bradshaw would approve.
I’ll kick my soapbox out from under me now and spare you the rest.
To all of my friends finishing school this week, good luck wrapping it up. To all my friends who aren’t in school, good luck surviving the holidays. I think we all deserve a drink.