Friday, March 28, 2008

Highs and Highs

I am mostly in a good mood this morning. Lots of good things. The only negatives are that I'm really, really tired and I have a headache that just keeps getting worse and worse. It's starting to make me sick to my stomach. I hate that. Of course I think they are related. And I really don't think anything but sleep will fix it. I love my job but I don't think they'll let me sleep at my desk.

Last night I played at a new venue, the Universal Bar & Grill. It was a cool bar. Very old school, unlike lots of the trendy, up tight bars here in LA. I felt comfortable there. Red leather booths and red velvet wallpaper. And a crowd of regulars that really are regulars who probably spend most nights there like at cheers. And though they were regulars, they welcomed all of the musicians like good friends. It was awesome.

The set went well. I'll post the careful constructed set list at the bottom for those of you who are curious. There was no music or tv sounds to compete over. The crowd was attentive yet laid back. Even the bartenders seemed to get into my music. That's a good sign. I was happy with my performance and the flow of everything. People seemed to respond well to the songs. I can't wait to go back.

My other high point since my last blog is that I got a friend request on my myspace. I went to check out their page. I usually do before I say yes. Not that I say no often but partly to actually meet the person I'm going to say I'm friends with and to make sure it's not almost porn. Anyway, I go to their page and they had uploaded my song 'Einstein in a Skirt' to their player! That is so exciting!!! I'm so happy that someone would like my song enough to put it in their player. :) That's awesome! If anyone else already has one of my songs in their player or uploads one, please let me know. It is a huge compliment and I would want to send you huge amounts of thanks. :) So exciting. :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

First Runner Up

I'm working on another song right now. I can't tell you the title of it because it's a secret. No, I'm kidding. I can't tell you the title because I don't know it yet. I have three verses and bridge and a chorus but I don't really like the chorus. It's missing something. Cinnamon perhaps. Whatever it is, it feels very not finished. There is some amazing, profound line that is floating somewhere in the collective unconscious and I am casting out net after net to find it. That is line I'm looking for and that line will be the title. Until then the whole song is lost.

When I get like this I have a process. It's very scientific. Usually I print out the song on a fresh sheet of paper and scribble random stuff in the margins. Words that are close to what I mean that lead to other words that are even further away from what I mean but maybe one will hold my hand and bring me to the right words. Mostly I just end up with lots of printings of the song with scribbles. And I keep going back to the same phrases that are close but not quite. The runner ups. And I think that in some cool stream of consciousness way I'll get to the right words but the runner ups start to get in the way.

I don't even know why I do it this way. In the end, if I find the magic words that I'm looking for, I don't usually have a pen in my hand. It's while I'm walking, driving or washing dishes, something when I'm not concentrating. But how can I possibly find this if I don't even start looking?

What worries me most is that sometimes I never find the profound line. Instead after months of looking, I decide that maybe I'm being too precious with the whole thing and just go with the second best. I rationalize that maybe I'm being too hard on myself and the line I've got is okay. Maybe if I play the song out as is, it will relax something in my brain and let the real line float over to me. Songs with those lines have been recorded and are on my CDs and they smack me in the face every time I come up on them. It doesn't feel good. Certainly it doesn't feel as good as the times when I do find the line and the world shifts and birds sing and lights shine down from the heavens. So I wait a really long time before I give up.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Wisdom of Loretta

Woohoo! It's time for some speed blogging today my friend. Here are the hits for today!

Booked a second new show at a new venue in the Valley! Psyched that it was at the time and date that I really wanted. Bummed when hours later I got bumped to a later time. Still psyched about the venue. It's a cool little restaurant that usually has jazz. One night a week they do singer/songwriter stuff. It still has the cool jazz atmosphere though.

Got a rejection letter/email for a song I tried to place. Man. These hit me seriously hard. At least they are 'keeping me on file for later.' I sure wish that didn't sound so much like 'don't call us, we'll call you.' I'm supposed to send these out more often?! Are you crazy? Who would volunteer to walk up to people and say 'Please hit me in the gut as hard as you can. And I'll thank you for it.'

And yet I'm still a little positive. Not about the songs I pitched. I guess I should 'pitch' them in trash next. ;) But I've been working on a new song this week and it is lifting my spirits. I mentioned earlier that I wrote the lyrics back in May. Actually, my songwriter friend Jason Riggs ( is my partner in commiserating crimes. We go back and forth through email about songwriting, especially on the hard days. I had listed to him some conflicts I had in myself and he said I should turn them into a song. So I turned them into lyrics and added a couple more. But I haven't felt a melody for it.

This week I decided it was the right time to make it happen. And it did happen. And now I've been humming it all day long. Take that rejection email! 'Don't You Oppress Me!' as said by Loretta in Life Of Brian. (I like quoting that one a lot.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ready, Set, Sing

This morning I'm working on my set list. I have a show coming up on Sunday that I'm pretty excited about. I usually try to write my set lists a couple of days ahead of time. Theoretically then I can practice the set in order and see what songs don't work well next to each other. It's a good theory.

Some people don't make set lists, they just play whatever they feel like when it comes up. That makes me nervous. I suddenly can't remember any of my songs. I stand there after playing two and think, gosh, I don't think I have any others. I say this even though I have 4 CDs of recorded songs and plenty more that I've never recorded. And yet I get this deer-in-headlights reaction in my brain.

So I make set lists. Of course, this does feed into my insane desire to make lists in general. I just have a good excuse to write this one. And, of course I go compulsive on it.

I begin by looking up all of my recent set lists and cutting and pasting them all to one page. Then I number out on a new list how many songs I might fit into the set. Then I start pasting songs into the new list.

Now the juggling begins. I usually find some way to code the list, either with symbols (* - #) or colors. Songs from the 'Without Your Breath' CD, songs from the 'Super Ordinary Girl' CD, older songs than those, brand new songs and covers. I start to shuffle to make sure that I'm not playing too many from any category in a row; usually I keep it at three at the most. After that version, I go back through the list and make sure that I don't have two songs that are in the same key together or two songs that start similarly or have similar structure or too many slow songs together. Similar ideas can always stay together. How could I possibly have a set list keeping the love songs separated. It couldn't happen.

It's probably a whole lot more work than it needs to be. I should just go with the flow. Most people probably don't care what order the songs come in. But I want it to be perfect. I guess that's pretty crazy.

And yes, I realize that I could use the same list over and over again. I do for long periods of time. But new songs are written and other songs come in and out of 'favorite' status all the time. Do you wear the same outfit every Monday just because it's Monday? No, you mix it up with your mood. :)

I'd write more about what must seem like an incredibly boring process but I have a set list to finish.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!

I am so busted. I didn't write on Friday. In my defense, I thought I would be at work a full day and they ended up letting us go early. Will I complain? No. Did I have lots of work to do like write a blog that I left undone. Yes. My apologies.

Happy Easter! For those of you on the edge of your seats, yes, I said all of the rosaries. Somehow I thought that at the Easter Vigil I would see a heavenly light upon me, hear angels sing and know that I did it right enough and it's all covered. That did not happen. I suppose this is part of that Faith thing. Fine. If that's the way you want to play this thing, God, fine.

Easter itself was a beautiful day. Maybe that was my 'confirmation' of a job well done. For those of you not in LA, ha! It was 80 degrees and the sky was clear (for a change.) It was one of those days when I finally understand why people will put up with the traffic. For it to be a beautiful warm day in March. This is the LA I signed up for.

I walked on the beach with my sweetie for hours watching the waves. We even saw dolphins in the distance! I stopped by my favorite bead store and they were having a sale, half off all strands! No way! :) We had lunch at a new Chinese restaurant (no it wasn't Christmas, it was Easter.)

Back home I worked on a new song that I'm pretty sure will be unveiled at Sunday's show. I'm pretty excited about it. I've had the lyrics written since May of last year. Yes, some songs take that long. Some don't. Last week I played a song that I had written just a few days before. But I wanted this one to be special so I held onto it for a long time. Now it will never measure up the greatness I have placed on it in my mind but at least I can finally sing it to you.

And the day was finished up with eating an Easter dinner prepared by my sweetie, yes he cooks too, and my cousin. :) I have nothing cool to say. I'm just basking in the niceness of this day. Still, even a day later.

Happy Easter to you and your loved ones!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jonathan Coulton

I don't think I've written about any of my favorite things or 'things that are in my heart' so it's seems I should fix that.

I want to introduce you to my favorite indie artist, Jonathan Coulton. You can check him out at He's the bomb. Awhile back he decided he was going to go for it; quit his day job and become a full time musician. Easier said than done. Oh sure it's easy to quit your day job. One 'I'm outta here!' and that's covered. But to become a full time musician, to get paid for your music, that's a little harder.

His second step was to promise himself a song a week for a year. That's right. He wrote and produced a song a week for a whole year. And he's a rocking songwriter! Just check out the page. Tons of songs!

Such clever songs! Code Monkey is by far his greatest hit but every time I stop by his page I find another gem. Just today I listened to 'The Presidents.' He seriously lists every American president with a line about them or their presidency. Dude. I can't even name all the presidents. But if I memorize Jonathan's song, I'll get every one of those presidents locked in my brain.

He's a nice guy! I wrote him email yesterday asking him a technical question on his website. He wrote back last night! Last night!? I don't answer email that quickly and I'm not even an internet rockstar. And he shared his secrets. Because he doesn't consider them secrets to hold on to. He's just that kind of guy.

So Jonathan is a great songwriter and a cool guy and he took the leap of faith for his craft. He did it in style. I've been so inspired by him! He did it. He's not on MTV yet but he's living the dream, man. His style, his music, his site and his commitment have inspired me. I've begun reworking my webpage, a work in progress yes, to make my songs for accessible. You'll probably notice changes here and there as I go.

And I've been very tempted to commit myself to a song a week. If only it wasn't copying. Hopefully Jonathan would believe that saying that imitation is the best form of flattery. He's inspired me that connecting with people, getting my music out there, it's all possible. And hopefully you'll connect with him and his music too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Uac Deer

A friend sent me her Mayan Calendar birthday this morning. Basically the site tells you your horoscope based on the Mayan Calendar. Go to to find out what you are and then look up what it means at Mine wasn't that great. I'm an Uac Deer. It told me I tend to 'keep every tool they may ever use' which leads to 'clutter and indecision, loss and procrastination.' It also said that '...Deer may become stubborn, manipulative and evasive.'

Isn't a horoscope supposed to tell me nice things about myself? Sure, I tend to hold onto everything, create clutter, live in indecision and loss and I procrastinate because I hold on to options too long. Like today, I had too many things I thought I might write about and waited until the last minute to just sit down and write. So what? :P And yes I am stubborn. I don't know that I'll cop to manipulative. But I suppose if I'm working on being more honest, that implies that I'm usually evasive.

But shouldn't horoscope descriptions tell you you rock?! That you have traits that might be difficult but also have their up side? Honesty is completely overrated in this situation. And now I've decided (see, I can make decisions) that those Mayans were just whacked out. Sure they've discovered complex astronomical phenomenon way before the Western world and known about the end of time occurring in December of 2012 since before recorded time. I'm completely positive that they're right about that but this horoscope thing- totally botched.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Say Cheese!

My friend, Paul, was at the show on Friday night and he took a bunch of photos! He's a great photographer in Phoenix, AZ, here's his website. Check it out. :) He was in town, came to the show and took, like I said, a bunch of photos. They came out really good. I'm hoping that he'll let me post some here and there for you to see.

I love posing for photos. But I don't want to be vain, because that is not cool. For a long time I thought that Vanity was one of the seven deadly sins but I guess it's not. Maybe I just combined it with Pride which is on the list and is the one I struggle with the most. Still, I'm a bit vain and that makes me feel bad. So I want to go on a photo shoot and have people make me look pretty and have a photographer say thing that make me feel pretty but I know the whole time I would feel embarrassed and bad that I'm getting all this attention. So, I've never done that kind of photo shoot. Instead, I make poor Patrick take photos of me.

Patrick's into photography and takes great pictures. At least he used to be into photography and taking pictures of me until he started taking pictures of me. This is no exaggeration. I made him take over 1000 photos of me to find the right one for the CD cover for 'Without Your Breath.' That's just evil. I don't know how many times he had to hear 'That one's great except for...' fill in with any teeny tiny thing I could pick on. I was awful. I am so vain that nothing was perfect. And on top of the picky things about the wind, a stray hair and a shirt wrinkle, etc., those things don't begin to address my worries about the physical things I cannot change like my (upon further reflection, I can't even list the physical things about me that stress me out. If I point them out, you're even more likely to notice and I can't handle that. Sorry, I'm censoring here.) I'm so freaking insecure. There. I said it. Are you happy now?

So. Paul's photos. They are awesome. He takes great photos and his lighting is really cool. He did a good job of capturing expressions of me that are very me I think. Poor Patrick has been beaten up by my craziness that the stated goal, again by me, is to take only photos that will make me look pretty. But then they don't come out very real I guess. Paul was lucky enough to not have me pour out my neurosis on him before he took the photos so he could just click away. They really are very good.

Of course, before I let you see any of them, I'll have to censor those too to make sure there aren't any that highlight my least favorite features. And, that will leave me with the photos that I think I look good in. But then if I post photos that I think I look good in, that's vain and prideful. So then I'll feel embarrassed about posting them. Maybe I'll just draw a stick figure and post that.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hail Mary

Just as a follow-up to last week. The car is still running great and the songs went really well. I remembered all of the chord changes and the words. Woohoo! Hopefully some day I'll put up a version online.

So this morning I prayed a rosary. For those of you who aren't familiar with rosaries, it looks like a necklace with a series of little beads broken up by larger beads with a cross at the end. If you've seen a horror movie with demons in it or an exorcism, you've probably seen one. Apparently they are really handy for that sort of thing.

Anyway, here's my motivation, I don't want to go to hell. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Several years ago I went to confession and the priest said for me to pray a rosary as my penance. I had never prayed one before but had a general idea of the thing; it's a whole lotta 'Hail Mary's' (prayers, not football passes) with some 'Our Father's' (again, a prayer) tossed in for seasoning. At the time, I was lazy so I looked into it a little and then figured, look as long as I get the right number of 'Hail Mary's' and 'Our Father's' in, that should cover it. So, I prayed my cliff notes version of a rosary.

Since then I've gone on living like everything is fine. But there has always been this nagging feeling like I really didn't do that right. And if I didn't do the penance right, then I'm not really forgiven. It's an if/then clause, the priest says in the confessional that you're forgiven but that's only IF you do the penance afterwards THEN you'll be completely forgiven, right? So if I didn't say the rosary right, and I pretty much knew at the time I was doing it half...way, then I'm not really forgiven. And then, if you take communion and your not caught up on your forgiveness, then you're committing even more sins!

For those non-catholics out there, yes, there seriously are all kinds of rules and technicalities in the church. Sure, I may not understand them all correctly but I know they exist. And some of you may say all of these rules are made up and don't really mean anything. Maybe. But I like these rules. I'm not just Catholic because my parents raised me to be Catholic. I'm Catholic because this form of Christianity speaks to me, resonates with me. And a big part of what resonates with me is the rules. I like rules and ritual. They comfort me. Because if I dot my I's and cross my Ts I can relax a little and know that God and I are cool. I hurt his feelings, I said I'm sorry, he asked that I do a rosary (meditating on the whole situation) and then we're good. We're buds.

But I didn't do it. I bailed. All this time I've been feeling a little guilty and I haven't felt completely sure that everything is okay.

Last week I started researching how to pray a rosary. It's even more complicated than I thought! And I still can't tell if I'm doing it right because apparently there are different ways to do it. There used to be 3 Chaplets (series of prayers/trips around the beads) and then in 2002 the Pope added another one that's optional. So for it to count do I do one Chaplet or 3 Chaplets or now 4 Chaplets? Do I pray it the way that adds the mystery (the event to meditate on that set) at the beginning of the set only or adds the mystery in between each 'Hail Mary'? Some say to add in Fatima prayers, some don't. I still don't know that I know what I'm doing.

And yet, this morning I said a rosary. And I'll do one a day all week until I cover all of the 4 Chaplets (just in case, of course.) And for a little while I'll think I'm good with God again. Sort of. Maybe.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Speed Blogging

I've neglected my blogging duties today and I am forced to speed blog. Maybe this will be the trick to allow me to confess my deep darkest thoughts. I doubt it.

First, to put you at ease, my car started fine. It's running great. It was only my knucklehead move that caused any problems. And I am in a much better frame of mind. I wrote just as I had walked back yesterday and I was pretty grouchy, I must say. And now that I'm embarrassed, I'm making apologies so I'll just stop.

I think I end up with much more positive entries if I write at the beginning of the day instead of at the end. I feel like I should just sum up what I crossed off of my to do list instead of wandering around what could be with the day.

Mostly, I'm just nervous at this moment. That's probably coming across with my random thoughts. Not only must I finish this blog in the next four minutes but I have a show tonight. One tonight and one tomorrow night. I haven't had a true show in over a month and I'm feeling a little rusty. Wish me luck. I'm also bringing out two, possibly three, new songs. Wish me more luck. I don't normally play new songs until I've held onto them for months but, again as part of this take chances thing, I'm going to play them tonight. You'd think that after all this time of baring my soul, I'd be cool with shows and new songs but I'm not. I'm easily crushed. Now, you don't have to come to the set and tell me you loved the new songs just to make sure I'm not bruised. You could do that but then it's like cheating. I'd have fished for the compliment. Only say you like a song if you like a song of course. But even if you liked the new songs, or old songs for that matter, and even if you jumped up and screamed and clapped like mad and even if I knew that you would love it and knew you would react that way- I would still be stressed out to show it to you. And I'd still feel like throwing up. Wish me luck again!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nice move, Ileana

Dude. My car is dead. Apparently at some point I turned on the lights and left them on but I can't even tell you when I did that. I don't usually turn on my lights anymore because they automatically turn on every time the car is on. So why turn them on - you might forget to turn them off. See. I feel like an idiot.

I drove to a nearby park for my lunch break and it died there. It just wouldn't turn back on. And it was dead dead. I couldn't even get the car to lock and unlock. So I walked back to work in my monster platform boots. The park wasn't that nearby anymore. I have blisters now. Yes, I'm crying for sympathy! And I just felt dumb for killing the car and silly for walking around in these stupid boots that only look cool if your not walking around anywhere.

Thank goodness Patrick is a sweet and kind man. He's driving over to the park and calling AAA and getting it all squared away. Neither one of us thought AAA would get over there fast enough for me to get back to work on time. Not that they're super slow or anything, I don't call them enough to even know that, I just didn't want to be late for work. And I was worried that since I wasn't getting any juice at all, the whole battery might be toast which would be a longer and more involved fix than just a jump. Patrick gets the hero award even more since he's really sick right now with the flu. What a guy. See what a pain in the butt I am? I cause all kinds of problems. And I make my sick husband help me fix them. I'm so annoying.

And I can't even blame it on any one or anything. (See my rant on taking responsibility for things- No Do-overs) My car is a great car. I love my car. It is not the car's fault. It's not my husband's fault. I left the lights on. Gosh darn it I feel stupid!

I have nothing even remotely interesting to say. I'm just bummed by this recent turn of events.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Frogs, Toads and Wolves

I must only be dreaming that I'm getting a good night's sleep. Because I thought I did again and again I'm exhausted. I'm hitting stage two now for me. Not only am I grumpy, whiny and fussy; I'm crossing over into overwhelmed and fast approaching depressed.

I am a huge fan of lists. I'm pretty obsessive-compulsive and therefore love obsessing over lists. I've made a list of things that I worry about that was 5 notebook pages long. My general doctor recommended I do this once when I saw him and he though I might be stressed. After seeing the list he recommended I go on medication. Ha! Ask me to write a list? That'll learn ya.

The lists are long, exhaustive, precise and pretty ridiculous many times. One of my favorite children's series is The Adventures of Frog and Toad and I am Toad. There's a story called 'The List' and Frog and Toad spend their day following the list that Toad has prepared. At one point the wind blows the list away and they can't catch it. So Toad just sits there because he can't remember what he was supposed to do next on the list. I love it! He doesn't come up with an alternate plan, there's no list and therefore he's lost. So cool. So me.

When I feel overwhelmed or lost, I write a list. So I wrote one this morning to reign in all of my rambling worries. They were all floating out there separate from me; circling me like a pack of wolves. So I caught 'em and caged 'em between blue wide spaced lines in my notebook. Only two pages today. Not bad.

It's just not helping much yet. I'm still stressed out and overwhelmed. I know that I don't have to do all of those things today or even this week. Some of them are just reminders so that I don't forget to eventually get to them. But I think I'm too tired to even start working on crossing off items. Which, by the way, is soooo very satisfying. There is nothing better than looking at a list with lines crossed through every item. Sigh.

Yes, too tired to start. Too spacey to start. In the Frog and Toad story they sit there for hours and it begins to get dark. Frog says maybe they should just go to sleep. Toad gets excited! 'That's it! Go to sleep was on my list!' So he writes 'Go to sleep' in the sand with a stick and then draws a line through it. And they fall asleep right there. I think I need to add it to mine.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No Do-overs

After a good night's sleep I am strangely more tired today than yesterday. So weird. But I think that may account for my bad mood. Thus I have hopefully excused the following rant.

I'm so annoyed with Florida. I'm tired of hearing about how they may or may not redo their primary election.

Look Florida and Michigan voters . Your state has screwed you. Your own state legislature illegally moved it's primary because they wanted to look cool. They wanted to be up in front. They knew it was against the rules when they did it and they did it anyway. And if you break the rules, then there are consequences. Don't we teach our children this? Well shouldn't we be teaching our children this!? Lord knows I'm seeing it all the time where people aren't willing to accept responsibility for their actions and instead want a do-over. There are no do-overs! You make choices and you must live with them.

Speaking of which, if you signed paperwork that says you agree to make payments on your house even if the payments jump up astronomically, then nobody should be bailing you out. You signed it. Suck it up.

Back to the topic. So the states put themselves in this spot. The Democratic National Committee then decided, you're breaking the rules so we will give you the consequence, your vote will not count. This is the consequence that is written in their rulebook; a consequence that Florida and Michigan voted for a year and a half earlier! Now they what a do-over as well. They are scrambling to find a way to make Florida and Michigan count. The chairman himself, Howard Dean, says they need to find a solution to this. You know what that solution is? Let it go. Those states made a choice to break the rules. Done. Let it go.

Oh yes, but the voters of those states are very upset. I didn't see a whole lot of them protesting the move of the date of their primaries. Were they writing and calling their representatives saying 'please don't move up the primaries?' Nope. If you sit back and let other people run your lives then you get what you pay for.

You think I'm kidding? Do you know how easy it is to write your government officials? Are you telling me that you can find ten places online to send fan mail to George Clooney but you can't find the email address to someone who actually makes decisions that affect your life?

Florida, Michigan, ask your reps to move the primary back to where it's supposed to be for 2012. Better luck next time. You still get to vote for president. And in accepting the consequences of your actions gracefully, you become an excellent example for your children.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Dear Diary,

Okay. Here's another stab at that every day thing. I think you can pretty much count on me not writing over the weekend. I try to stay away from computers as much as possible so if I can avoid one over the weekend, I will.

I'm exhausted. It's that time change thing (hopefully by now you did change your clock. Otherwise, I have news for you, you're late for work.) But maybe if I write while I'm tired, I will have trouble censoring myself and you'll get the real me. Mostly I'm noticing that I'm just making a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. Sorry if that drives you nuts.

A number of people wrote me about the blog after I mailed out the addresses in my music newsletter. That is super cool. Because what's the point of putting your diary online if no one is going to read it? I might as well just write in a book then. Only to be found, published and famous upon my death. Here's how crazy I am. I think about that kind of thing when I am writing in my journal. (Journal - diaries are so 8th grade, or last year for me.) But yes, there is a part of me that censors even when I write in my journal. No I don't think my mom (or my husband) or anyone is reading it right now. But it is there. It is permanent. And someday I will die and then I won't have any control over it. And who knows what people will do with your stuff when you're gone. Mostly just toss it out, I know. But still, it bugged me in Bridges Of Madison County that basically her kids are reading about her torrid love affair! Is nothing your own? Is no moment yours?

This from a person who is publishing their thoughts on line for the world to see. I know, I know. It doesn't make sense. If I found my mother's diary, I don't think I'd read it. It was for her. I guess you could say that then you learn about your mom being a real person and not just your mom on a pedestal. Or a part of her lives on in you knowing. Or just that it was a good story well told and that's why they made it a movie.

Overall, who worries about this besides me?! Who worries about what happens to their journal when they die and worries about how people/family/the world when-it's-turned-into-a-movie will look at me when they read these things? First of all, I'm not that important. Second of all, I'll be dead, what could I possibly care about then? Third, would anything I wrote count anyway if I'm constantly thinking about this and censoring myself? Do you see my psychosis? Do you see why it's necessary to stretch myself and put this blog out there? Do you know how many times I re-typed these sentences?

BTW, speaking of looking at someone's diary. The British government asked regular people to write letters documenting their lives during WWII. Nella Last wrote, signing her letters, Housewife, 49. Her "blog" was turned into a book and then a tv program which won several awards in Britian. "Housewife, 49" is now being released on dvd. It sounds really cool and I'm very excited to see it! Sure I wouldn't want someone to read mine, but I'll see hers... The hypocrisy never ends.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Pep Talk

I guess I'm supposed to write everyday. I'd rather wait until I have something interesting to say but oh well, that's how these things work. Perhaps I can make once a week to start with. Here goes.

Last weekend I attended the Durango Songwriter's Expo, not in Durango strangely enough, but just North of Santa Barbara. For anyone who's a songwriter, I highly recommend this conference. You end up meeting lots of amazing writers, industry gurus and seeing great live performances.

This was my second time there and I was happy that I gave it a second chance. I felt pretty beat up after the first one but this time it went much better. It was easily better now that I knew what to expect and what to bring but I tried to be more open this time.

I am such a fearful person! I'm nervous around other people. It takes a lot of effort for me to socialize and I'm second guessing everything I say. I did a lot to prepare for the weekend. Of course did the business side of things. I got my best songs ready to present and gathered my business cards and made labels and so on. I practiced my performances. But I prepared me this time, too. I prayed; a lot. I did some qi gong and meditated. I had an acupuncture treatment the day before and got some herbs to improve my energy. I also gathered some stones that meant different things like courage, good luck and improved communication. All of this to protect myself from that beat up feeling; from being drained.

Well it worked, mostly. I did a lot of things at the weekend that I wouldn't have done in the past. I met tons more people than I normally do and I put myself out there. And somehow I wasn't as tired as I usually am after these things. I did have to take a couple of days to catch up on sleep but that's not too bad. I was rested by Wednesday and had worked hard to keep in touch with my new friends. I started writing a couple of new songs. I was great; I was high.

And then yesterday I nose dived. Why bother, what's the point. Gosh, you're going to get tired of hearing me go up and down. You're going to wonder why I'm not on some kind of medication. But I need to stop being so gosh darn positive I think. I put a lot of positivity out there. I tell people, "You can do it!" And I mean it. They can. Some days I can. But I get low just like anyone else. And instead of only writing here on the good days, I'm going to try to write on the bad days too. I say this completely aware that I didn't write yesterday. I waited until today, when I felt better. So, yeah, huge strides there. I guess that leaves you with the knowledge that I claim that some days I'm down and think I should give up on all of my dreams. But most days I talk a good game.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Aretha -Say a little prayer for me...

Originally posted on on Thursday, February 21, 2008

So here's another box for you to check. I pray. A friend of mine hosts this cool blog which brings to attention some of the issues facing the homeless and it calls on us to not only be aware but to act. In his most recent post, he's starting a weekly prayer request. Every Monday you can post people you'd like to offer prayers for and it will be presented in a weekly one hour adoration. Please do participate at

That brings up a question for me that often runs around in my brain. How do you know when to stop praying for someone? I don't mean to be funny. I care about my friends and family. When they are experiencing trouble or sadness, I add them to my mental prayer list. When I say my prayers I say each one and try to really concentrate on each person for a bit, not just list their names. But, I find that my list of people to pray for becomes longer and longer and now it is just a laundry list. Do the prayers lose their effectiveness when they are diluted by such a long list? It seems to me that they could be. But how can I know. Maybe it's enough to just list them since God probably knows what's going on anyway and what they need. Like I need to explain things to God, right? So maybe a list isn't terrible.

But when is it okay to take people off of the list? Sure, someone gets a cold and you pray for them to be well and when they're well you're done. But, for instance, if you pray for someone grieving the death of a loved one, you can't know when the grief is healed. They could still suffer that grief 10 years from now. Do they stay on your list a week, a month, a year?

Do you begin to forget to add them to the list at the same rate they become healed? Because I start to forget to pray for people after awhile but then maybe that's okay since maybe God hear the prayer the first time. To help with the forgetting, I started writing down my list of people to pray for but it stressed me out because of this taking-people-off-of-the-list thing. I would rewrite the list every so often, adding new people with new concerns but then see that, yeah, I had forgotten to pray for so-and-so for awhile. But surely they're feeling better by now. Or are they... I suppose just in my talking and sharing with them I can know if they're doing better but still...I can't know for sure. Unless I ask, "Hey are you all better because I wanted to take your name off of my prayer list."

And what does it say to cross someone's name off?! "You and your well being are no longer important to me. Thank you. Come again." I don't want to take anyone off the list, just in case they need help. The list eventually, over time, becomes everyone I know; because everyone goes through a period where they need a little help, right? Then I have a list of everyone! Why not just say "God, please help out everyone I know." So THEN does my long list lose it's prayer effectiveness? Possibly. So I should start a new list with only the people who really need it right now...

Oh Hey! Can you see?

Originally posted at on Sunday, February 03, 2008

This weekend I celebrated my Dad's retirement. It was a beautiful event and ceremony with lots of friends and family around to celebrate with. My Dad is awesome and is retiring after 42 years of civic service. He started out enlisting in the Air Force, then switched to the reserves where he finally retired 12 years ago as a Colonel. He continued his civilian job working for the Air Force, all the while working in various Public Affairs (PR) positions. He's proud of representing the Air Force all of these years and his excitement is contagious. He worked most recently in promoting and explaining many new inventions that the Air Force developed, things like lasers that can shoot from planes (like in sci fi movies), telescopes that can discover stars millions of miles away and devices can stop violent rioters from harming others without harming them as well. You may have even seen him explain these things on shows like Future Weapons. He loved his job and he loved serving his country in and out of uniform.

I was asked by the organizer of the event to sing the national anthem at the ceremony. I was immediately honored. And terrified. I've never sung it anywhere. Well, yes in the crowd with everyone else before a game but not with me as the person in front singing it. Yes it's a hard song with a crazy range but mostly I was worried I'd forget the words. Look. I forget the words to my own songs; songs I've written! I could easily forget the words to this. And I so didn't wan that. Sure, it would be embarrassing but that wasn't it. I would be in a room of men and women who wear the uniform, including my Dad. People who give their lives and serve their country. Serve me?! Protect me?! I didn't want to insult them.

I practiced a lot and I thought about the song. About the words I would be singing. Here I am singing about the flag that represents my country. I looked some stuff up, only to refresh my memory, of course. Did you know there are 4 verses? I didn't. Cool. Try listening to all of that before the Superbowl! Francis Scott Key (one of the few famous men in history with three names who's not an assassin or serial killer) wrote the lyrics during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. He watched helplessly as Fort McHenry was attacked my British forces. The song captures his anxiety as he waits to see if the Fort stands. I put myself there as I sung. Worried about the men (men only back then) who were fighting so hard, worried that they would be hurt that we would be lost, that our freedom was in jeopardy. And the relief that the flag was flying, that our country was protected. And yet I know that our country is protected. That there are people willing to give their lives for me, my family, their family, your family. People with more courage than I have. And here I have the privilege to be afraid only of forgetting words, not losing lives. So I sang with all my heart. I hit the right notes. I got the words right. I made my Dad teary-eyed. And hopefully I honored him.

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Who's broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

Check Here

Originally posted at on Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I am a very private person which is why it's been so hard for me to write blogs. I started a blog section on my main webpage,, but you can see that I wrote about 3 or 4 meh blogs and then stopped. I have begun a self imposed therapy to take chances a little more, trust people a little more and speak my mind a little more. So get ready, I'm about to go overboard and give you way too much.
As Patrick, my husband, puts it, I don't like nobody knowing my bizness. I don't park on the street when I unload groceries because I don't want people to see if I'm buying fat free organic skim milk or Doritos. I get very caught up in worrying what other people will think and I worry about the quick labels people apply.

Yes, labels can be good. They are the way that we order the world around us from an early age. You start to learn something about someone and you start checking boxes in your mind; likes Mexican food, loves to watch movies, always gets popcorn. And that's good because when you are dying for margaritas, a movie and popcorn, you know who to call. It becomes very helpful. But I start to worry that as people check more boxes, they find there are too many boxes that don't match them so I prefer it if you didn't check any boxes for or against me.

I recently found that I was outsmarting myself in hiding my secret super hero identity. When people ask what music I listen to, I don't listen to music a lot. Whoa, that is a huge box to check for a musician. Yikes. But it's the truth. I listen to public radio. I like hearing local, national an world news. I like learning how to cook things I'll never cook. I like listening to interesting little stories about random people I'll never meet but make me laugh or smile or cry or think. I like listening to people talk. Not talk radio, not yelling, just talking; speaking. It makes me calm. So we donated to KCRW and got these nifty messenger bags! I love bags, not purses; I rarely carry a purse, but bags. Especially messenger bags. So I've been toting this one daily since I got it. All my junk goes everywhere. Nice.

As I'm carrying it one day, I notice a co-worker glances at the bag right about where it's got the KCRW logo on it. Oh my gosh! She just checked the box that says 'Listens to KCRW.' And she's right! I do! Just as I'm nervous about singing my Christian songs- because people might think I'm a hard core religious right conservative- I'm just as concerned about people thinking that I'm a tree hugging granola toting liberal. Truth is, I'm lots of both. But I don't want you to KNOW that. So I start brainstorming as to how I will hide my KCRW logo while still using the really cool bag and I think, I've got it! I'll take the left over sew-on flowers that I have from when sewed those onto my guitar strap and sew them over the logo so you won't be able to see it. You'll just see my sewn on flowers.

Yes. That's it. I'll hide my hippy chick bag by sewing flowers on it. That won't give anything away.

Starting Out

I started blogging last month using my myspace page ( and, while it was cool to have it right there with my profile, it was kind of hard for people to get to. It was my second attempt at starting a blog.

My first was at my main website ( but that was a site that I wrote up myself and it was really cumbersome to add the blogs each time. That lasted maybe a day.

So now I'm trying again here. Since I just started, I'm going to add in the 3 that were from myspace but none of the ones from the other site. If this is poor blogging etiquette, please forgive me. Those 3 blogs may be the last clever things I ever write. If they were clever at all.

I'm calling this All My Heart for several reasons. One. I am trying to be a little more upfront and honest about myself. I have the tendency to put up a good face and not say what I really mean. I doubt that I'll be able to change that all at once but maybe, just maybe, this blogging thing will help me. Hopefully I'll be more honest to you than to myself.

Two. I'll probably write up things in here that I really like. Things I love, things in my heart, eh? eh? So very clever indeed. Will the cleverness ever end? Will it ever start?

Three. I'm more spiritual and religious (and yes I do think those are two different things) then I say out loud. It's another thing that I would like to be a little more open about. 'All my heart' appears several times in the Bible, one being in Deuteronomy, where it lists the many ways you should serve the Lord; with all your heart, all your strength, all your mind, etc. Maybe I have been doing that but it's been in a really quiet way. I feel I should get better about that. I won't write about God and the Bible and stuff all of the time but it'll probably color everything I write just a little.

Four. There is no four. I was just hoping I could come up with one. Three's not bad.

There it is. All My Heart laid out for you in 0s & 1s.