Thursday, January 08, 2009

I'm going to be a rock star

Nevermind that my guitar is acoustic, I don't know how to play it and for that matter, haven't played an instrument since 7th grade. Nevermind that the only women older than I am who are still rockin' have been doing so for three decades or more.

None of that matters, because now that I have held this guitar in my hands (a birthday gift from the S.O.), I will be a rock star.

Becoming a rock star was inevitable, really -- all those hours glued in front of the television during the heyday of MTV (back when they played music videos 24 hours a day), the endless lip-synching sessions in front of my full-length mirror with my hairbrush microphone and my audience of adoring stuffed-animal fans. And -- the best part -- I probably already have some hearing damage thanks to Sony.

I know how to read music (mostly) and I already have the start of callouses on my finger tips (due to not being able to put the guitar down yesterday). I've already learned one chord. So it's just a matter of time before you're all stealing my music off the internet and begging me for front row seats to my next concert.

That, or maybe, by next Christmas, Lisa and I can perform a duet that doesn't suck.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Less than a week ago, most of us probably spent at least a little time reflecting on the past year. Having a birthday so close on the heels of the new year, usually means I spend a few more hours this time of year reflecting on the past 12 months than people with birthdays in, say, June or July.

The past year hasn't been one of my best. I lost my mom. I lost my job. I found out I can't have a baby of my own. A bunch of my friends lost their jobs.

On the other hand, people I met at my job are still some of the best friends I have. And I'm not at a job that stresses me out every day. I feel like I have a closer connection with members of my family (loss can do that). And I'm still writing and making something of a living at it.

I don't really make new year's resolutions, but I try to set some goals, even if they are just to stay healthy and active, be kind and learn something new. My hopes for the coming year are that I will have more laughter, fewer tears, less stress and more love, health, wealth and happiness. I also hope that this year will be less eventful than the last couple. And I pass that wish on to those who read this blog. (Because you deserve some kind thoughts if you put up with my ramblings.)

Because it's my birthday, I am giving myself this lovely(?) giraffe(?) cake(?), courtesy of Cake Wrecks, one of my favorite sites. I believe it was posted on my birthday just for me.

I can laugh because someone didn't actually spend money on this disaster for my birthday.

So, happy birthday to me and a better year to all of us.

Monday, January 05, 2009

But I refuse to do the Chicken Dance

You know those women who fight to catch the bouquet at a friend or family member's wedding? Yeah, I have become that woman.

To be completely honest, I didn't really fight anyone for the bouquet, but only because I had a good 3-inch reach on the competition and didn't have to fight.
The Significant Other and I don't have plans to be married and don't talk about it all that much. But after a really unique ceremony, including the maid of honor singing "Fields of Gold" and even the groom tearing up, combined with a couple glasses of wine and a champagne toast, I guess I was thinking about marriage more than I care to admit.

Although I didn't actually elbow anybody out of the way to catch the bouquet, I was more enthusiastic than I should have been, causing the S.O. to get a little embarrassed when everyone looked around for him.

But that was a couple days ago and the glow of champagne and catching the bouquet has dimmed. I assure you I'm not clipping pictures out of bridal magazines or checking venue dates or picking out the song for our first dance. And I'm not hounding the S.O. for a ring.

On the other hand, my birthday is just a couple days away ...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

What I read: "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen

Perhaps I was taken in by the subject matter or maybe it's because I finished this book on a cold snowy day when I was feeling pretty crappy. Whatever the reason, while I normally seem to have a similar taste in books as my friend Kate, on this occasion, I'm going to have to disagree with her.

I once fell inexplicably in love with someone based solely on his love for horses. And although I've never imagined running away to join the circus, there was that one summer when I dreamed of running off with the rodeo.

So, I do think I was drawn in by the subject matter and the romantic nature of the circus and the characters involved. And maybe the writing itself isn't deserving of gushing praise, but I really liked this book -- in an escapist, love-at-first-sight-even-if-it's-wrong, completely-lost-in-the-moment kind of way.

I'm sure Kate's assessment of the lack of character development is correct, but I still liked the characters. I especially cared about Walter, Queenie, Bobo and Rosie -- not to mention the main characters, who I didn't see as completely "good." They made dumb decisions and were lucky enough to have them turn out OK in the end.

Yes, in the end everything does get wrapped up in a too-neat little package. But that's part of why I thoroughly enjoyed the book. As I've admitted, maybe it's just my state of mind today and the snow falling outside the window and maybe I'll come back to this book at a later day and scoff at my own critique.

But not today. Today I'm awash in the warm glow of cotton candy, sawdust and the receding sound of the circus calliope.