Wednesday, August 20, 2008

You Tube Video!

I am so excited about this! A John Branson from New Mexico used one of my songs to make a video for his photos! Most of his photos are from New Mexico but a few are landscapes from nearby states. John and his partner Barb have been long time supporters of me and my music and I was honored when he asked me if he could use one of my songs! Heck yeah you can! His photographs are beautiful and always make me homesick. To accompany them in a video really, I'll say it again, it's an honor. I love them. He wrote to tell me today that it's up and I think it looks great! I have many favorite photos in it but I really liked the setting sun at the end. I was teary-eye and missing home once again. I hope you take a minute, or 4:43 to be exact, and watch it.

I'm excited to be associated with his work and I'm excited to have a song up on youtube. Yes, I know that I could post something myself but in my techno-phobic hesitation, I just haven't gotten around to it. Hopefully this will inspire me to add some of the videos I've been accumulating from live shows. Hopefully... And, if you're inspired to make a video to one of my songs, that would be completely amazing and cool.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Magic Beads

A couple of weeks ago I participated in a mass to celebrate the start of a new order of priests. A good friend of mine, his blog is listed on my list of other blogs as Homelessness in America, is starting his own order of priests. It's pretty ambitious, more ambitious than anything I've ever done. But he seems to be guided by God since almost everything just seems to be happening one step after the other as if it's meant to be. I wish I would see those kinds of steps in front of me. Maybe I'm not being ambitious enough.

This service the other day was in a beautiful little church in downtown Los Angeles with the coolest altar. It was in the shape of a boat. Made of marble. Really neat. We celebrated mass and towards the end, there was a blessing of rosaries. The rosaries were handmade by a wonderful woman who often makes them for groups to hand out to the homeless. The strange thing is, they just showed up in the PO Box for the new order a few days after the PO Box was opened. It's a brand new order that really very few people know about. The PO Box had only been opened a few days and wasn't advertised anywhere yet; not on any of the websites. How did this woman know to send these rosaries to this address?

My friend contacted the woman to thank her for the rosaries and also to find out how she heard about him. She wasn't sure. She was very unclear on it. She said she thought she read it somewhere. She doesn't even own a computer so even if it had been on his website, she wouldn't have seen it. She just said she thought she read the address somewhere.

Is it a miracle? Is it an example of God just making things happen that need to happen. Could be. Even if it was published in a random newspaper in another city about this new community starting, which is pretty unlikely given that it's still just getting started, that in itself could be a miracle I suppose. Is a miracle only someone coming back from the dead or is it just recognizing God's hand in any single event, regardless of it's magnitude?

All I know is that after the rosaries were blessed, we were allowed to come up and take one if we wanted. There was a bit of a rush as we all got up to get one. And I heard it run through my head, "I want some magic beads." Magic beads? Are they magic? Is it blasphemy just to say the words? I felt silly for a minute. Silly for believing in magic. Silly for believing in miracles. But gosh darn it I got my beads.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pretty In Pink

Wow. I not only fell off the wagon. I fell off and over a cliff. I am back. Hopefully for good. I'll start off easy today.

I'm getting ready to go to a birthday party tonight. Since it's 8-8-08 naturally it's an 80s party. So, I will dig out my favorite sweater and wear it once again. It's neon green and I actually wore it in the 80s. It's the one item of clothing I kept from that period. I was so very into neon. Neon pants, shirts, skirts, shoes and tons of earrings. How anyone can look good in neon is beyond me but I loved it. I've kept this sweater partly for nostalgia sake and mostly because it's the most comfy sweater I own. On days when I'm particularly down or sick, I'll drag it out and it just makes me feel better.

But tonight I have a fun occasion for it! I'll wear it with a mini skirt, not jean but it will have to do. And I'm looking forward to putting my hair in a side pony tail. I think I must still have some terribly obnoxious earrings to wear. If only I had the jelly shoes. It's not worth really going out to buy, I just wish I still had them.

The saddest part of this is not that I will be an old person reliving the music and clothing of my youth. The saddest part is that the person who's birthday we're celebrating (who loves the 80s in general on any day of the year) she was only BORN in 1983. She spent the 80s in diapers. I don't think they came in neon or paisley.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Free speech

I've been having trouble finding things to write about lately but this just stood out to me. The NY Times told McCain that they wouldn't publish his op-ed piece unless he rewrote it to be more like Obama's piece. What? There are so many things wrong wit that. Isn't the point that you'd like for them to be different and have different opinions on things so you have an actual choice in voting? Isn't the point of an op-ed piece that it's your opinion? Isn't that the point?! I spent an hour just saying, wow, in disbelief. The editor wrote, "It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece." He also outlined what he'd like McCain to write in his piece. How about the editor just write it and he can put McCain's name on it? I'm so sad. Sure, they can print whatever they want. They can choose to not print something. It's their right to print whatever they want, blah, blah, blah. Seems to me that if they cry so loudly any time they feel THEIR right of free speech is being impinged on, they might want to allow other people to say what they want to freely too. It might be kind of cool if they printed one piece from Obama and one piece from McCain and then went on and on like that; weekly printing their positions on different topics; helping to educate the public on who they might vote for. How cool would that be to provide an open place for the exchange of ideas? How naive of me I suppose.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ximena Sarinana

I get so annoyed with myself. I just found a new artist that I like. At my core, I am an insanely jealous person, competitive, spiteful. I know this about myself. So as they're interviewing this 22 year old artist from Mexico on the radio, I immediately think, she's going to be a lousy no talent hack. And then I liked her. A lot. A lot a lot. And I get mad at myself both for liking her and for being jealous of how awesome she is and how much I like her. And I rush back to my desk from my hour lunch break from my receptionist job and log on to my computer to find her. Maybe she'll be ugly. (Right.) She's not. She's cute and bouncy and just as awesome as her music is. And I'm even more jealous. Her name is Ximena Sarinana. She's awesome.

And I also begin to wonder, why do I find more artists that I like when I listen to NPR than when I listen to mainstream radio? Who knows. This artist was featured on The World. She sings in Spanish. I don't speak or understand Spanish. But then I hear her songs and think, piff, I could learn Spanish. Again, the bitterness boils.

Her music is a little jazzy and I think that's what I like so much. There are utube videos of her singing Volare and It Don't Mean A Thing. It must be the jazz vibe. I love old standards. This weekend I will play my monthly gig of songs from the Great American Songbook. Songs I love. Songs sometimes you hear once or twice in my longer sets. Maybe I should just give in to my jazzy side. Well, I'll at least buy her album. Even if it drives me nuts.

It's not available yet but you can pre-order it at amazon. Here's the link:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


As a follow-up to the tomato lamenting, the FDA has approved tomatoes grown in certain states safe to eat. California is one of them! But I'll probably wait just a little longer, just in case... You can see if your state is approved at

I love watching movies so I thought I might mention a few movies that I saw this weekend. Hint, I liked them all.

First up, the Hulk! Yes, I was there opening weekend to view yet another comic book movie. I like them so much. And, I needed to have my faith in the green monster restored after that terrible version just a few short years ago. I was not disappointed! Ed Norton, who just rocks anyway in just about everything, was able to carry off the scrappy scientist who's got just enough inner turmoil to freak out on you at any moment, even without being infected by gamma rays. The movie gave shout outs to the tv series from the opening credits with it's grainy, blue photography that made me feel like I was sitting in my living room watching my 13in tv way back when. And they continued to pay homage to the series throughout, replicating some classic scenes and dialogue. What was great is that they gave these nods without being campy and without deviating from the story at hand, which was filled with lots of action and a little bit of humor when possible. I really enjoyed it. Everyone is saying, well it's not as great as Ironman but still good. I suppose. Ironman tells a much more complicated story. The Hulk is just an ordinary man trying to control the rage within. The story is well told and a lot of fun to watch. I'd definitely recommend it to any action fan!

Next up this weekend was Lars and the Real Girl. The initial idea of it freaked me out a bit. A lonely, social outcast orders a 'Real Girl' online and interacts with her like a real person. While these dolls are mostly sold as sex toys (and to sneak into carpool lanes) his intentions are much more pure. He is in a delusion where he actually believes she is a real person. His brother and sister-in-law take him to a doctor who encourages everyone to go along with his delusion until he is able to work out the psychological issues he's long avoided. This extends to the entire small town in which they live. It was sweet to see how willing everyone in the story is to help him, how they accept his 'girlfriend' Bianca and treat her as an ordinary person. There care for her really shows their love for him and it's nice to think that sometimes people can be that loving towards another person. It was also interesting for me to see how his progress evolves throughout his meetings with the doctor and see his relationships change all around him. I'm a sucker and cry easily at movies and this one had me crying on early on and often as I was touched by many scenes. A very sweet story to watch.

Lastly, this weekend I watched Stardust. I did not want to see this in the theater because I felt that the casting of Robert De Niro was a really bad idea for the role. I also never felt that the trailers gave me anything different about this fairytale from others so I felt I already knew the story before I saw it. That right there takes it off the table as an $9 movie and onto the rental list. Which we did. Now my husband became very interested in the movie once he heard that it was based on the novel by Neil Gaiman who has also written many wonderful things, Sandman being one of his favorites. That inspired us to move it up on the list. The story was entertaining and imaginative. It is, at it's heart, a fairytale with witches, spells, love, kings, betrayal, hidden identities and a quest. Taken as a simple story with interesting twists then it is lovely. De Niro was an odd choice for his character. I think they thought it would be funny but the whole time I was thinking, this isn't really working, and it took me out of the story for his scenes. Other than that, I did enjoy it very much and a happily ever after ending will make me teary-eyed every time. It's a great fluffy movie with no great message, just the ability to take you to another world for a little while.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Don't Know What You've Got, 'Til It's Gone

Yes, I heard some Cinderella yesterday. But the title fits since I am so very sad. So sad that I cannot eat tomatoes. After a childhood of disliking them, I finally came around to their glories in the past couple of years. Now I add them to everything, especially my favorite sandwiches. Caprese, grilled cheese, burgers, hummus and pita. Sheesh. Lots of my favorite lunches. And now that they are gone, what's the point of a hummus, tomato and pita sandwich without the tomato? And what's the point of a caprese sandwich or salad without the tomato? Sigh (with my wrist to my forehead in despair) When will they be safe once again? A big, huge, fat slice of tomato to practically cover the sandwich... Sigh Of course, I wonder for a moment that perhaps this is an insidious start to some larger eco-terrorism. I can't help it. It's in my wiring to think such things. But though I wonder that, I will hope instead that it's a small, human error that will be easily traced and fixed. Allowing tomatoes to once again be eaten freely. Oh, yes, and I did buy a tomato plant this weekend in the hopes that I could eat some in just days. Yeah, right.