Thursday, December 31, 2009

All I Need Now...

My sweeties! : (

Yesterday, when it came time to leave Mom and Dad's, both Millie and Harley ran under Mom and Dad's bed before I could get them into their carriers. I didn't want to wrestle them out of there with a broomstick, and I figured it might be best if I could do my big Purge and Clean without them around. Harley is still very kittenish, and wants to see what's in every box, etc. I had the front door open a few times while taking stuff out to the garbage, and it was nice to not have to worry about them getting out.

Still, it's so quiet without them. After a whole decade of being a cat mom, I'm just not equipped to live without a furbaby around!

Mom and Dad will bring them down tomorrow or Saturday. I'll once again be warm and toasty in bed (it was cold without them last night!) and my very clean apartment will get that nice coating of cat hair back.

The Great Purge and Clean of 2009 -- DONE

Good grief, I'm exhausted! I'm going to try to make it to midnight, though.

Some statistics from today:

Three 13-gallon garbage bags worth of garbage thrown out, as well as a couple of boxes (one that a new lamp came in) and one old mop.

Two 13-gallon garbage bags, several smaller bags, one pots-and-pans box full of stuff, filling my entire car trunk, of stuff for Goodwill.

Five loads of laundry.

The results:

A cute new set of drawers to keep my dishtowels in ('til now, due to having a total of two drawers in the kitchen, they've been in a cupboard).

A nice new floor lamp to light up my living room. I previously had just the Sweet Spot lamp and a small lamp--not enough! Plus, I broke the "chimney" on the small lamp last night.

My Christmas stuff put away and my London Shrine lovingly restored to its home in the living room.

Two fat new king-sized pillows (bought in a set of two for $19.99!) for my bed, to replace my old ones, which were about a quarter of the thickness of these--and way old, too. Does that bed (all clean linens, including the comforter!) look inviting, or what?

I have a clean, respectable-looking apartment, just in time for the new year.

A couple of extra pics...while I was walking to the laundry room, I noticed the full moon and took my camera out a few minutes later to catch some pictures.

The Great Purge and Clean of 2009, Part 2


It has taken about two days of turning my apartment upside down, but the end is in sight. I have purged, scrubbed, hauled, swept, scoured, vacuumed, washed, mopped, organized, and PURGED SOME MORE. This place is looking great.

I'm pooped.

At present, I have three dryer loads over in the laundry room. When those are done, I can finish making my bed--the comforter is still drying, but the sheets are on.

Now all I have to do is put my kitchen rugs back and vacuum the hell out of the living room and hallway. Then I need to jump in the shower for one final round of scrubbing, scouring, and washing. I'm sweaty, and I opted to not wash my hair this morning. I had an hour-long workout with my new trainer. Well, it was our fifth session, so the newness is wearing off. Now we're into "Let's Make A Deal!" territory. I have to lose one pound by Monday or he's going to make me jog for 15 minutes without a break. I can't jog for fifteen straight minutes. I'll die.

Another post is coming later, when I take a few pics of the improvements I've made to my little 750-square foot corner of the world.

But first, the Bissell is waiting. Vroom vroom.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Great Purge and Clean of 2009

Let me be frank: December was a shitty month.

Oh, it ended beautifully, with a relaxing Christmas at Mom and Dad's house. Once I arrived back at their place, it was like the stress started melting off of me. All of the crap I dealt with in December (some of which I can't blog about) just took a back burner, and believe me, it was exactly what I needed.

I found myself wallowing in December. There were good things, like a couple of dates with Date Boy (fizzled out--a good thing, really, because we weren't very compatible), and a ton of awesome Chorale concerts. But good things can be overwhelming. Staying up 'til 5:00 in the morning watching movies with a new person, or standing for an hour singing Handel's Messiah is exhausting, even if it's fun.

When I wallow, things go by the wayside. The dust in my apartment is getting nasty. I need to pull furniture away from the walls and vacuum every nook and cranny. The bathroom isn't too horrid but it needs a good scrub-down. I need to wash my bed linens and my chorale dress (fortunately it's machine washable--I just hang it up to dry).

And I need to purge.

Purging is cathartic to me--a hoarder I am not. I've moved enough in my life to know that most things are replaceable or not important enough to bother replacing. I have a few things--my scrapbooks, certain parts of my Snoopy collection, my clarinet--that are very important, but other stuff is, well, just stuff.

So today, I've been going through my apartment doing the Great Purge of 2009. I have boxed up my well-used, beat-up old pots and pans, as Mom and Dad gave me a lovely set of Farberware for Christmas. I culled 2 garbage bags of Fat Girl clothes out of my closet. By the time spring rolls around, those blouses are going to be tents! I got rid of some cheap plastic cups because I now have a grown-up set of glasses. I've gone through my bookcases and pulled out some books I'll never read again to take to the used book store. My Goodwill pile is growing bigger and bigger. Tomorrow I'll load it all in the car and drop it off.

Even better, I've gone through my kitchen and purged the bad foods and a couple bottles of alcohol left over from all the drinking Date Boy seemed to want to do--he left Irish Whisky AND rum here. The rum--gone. The whisky...well, I'll keep it around, just in case. New Trainer has a good rule of thumb--for every serving of alcohol I drink, I must do one extra mile on the treadmill/stairs/elliptical. My drinking will be limited to special occasions, for sure.

Cleaning, organizing and purging make me feel in control. I can't control what happens to my job in 2010. I'm starting to brace myself for the fact that I could find myself moving again--I just don't know yet. I don't really want to, but I'll do what I have to do. I can't control what the outside world throws at me. But I can control my little corner of the planet, and so I'm ending 2009 with a lot of cleaning, purging, loading, hauling, and organizing. I figure it's best to start 2010 on a positive note, and I'll certainly enjoy lounging around on New Year's Day with black-eyed peas in the slow cooker and a good movie in the DVD player.

The Decade in Music: 2007

I don't remember much about 2007. I continued teaching high school choir, and that was about the biggest deal.

"Crank Dat" by Soulja Boy was a huge hit--I loathed it.

Though the dance did feature in my show choir's "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" medley. The judge at a competition we went to even remarked on how funny it was that we put that bit of pop culture in our routine!

I did like a new group called the Plain White T's, however. "Hey There Delilah was a fun little ditty. Two years later, I would see them live. They're a fun little band--nothing earth-shattering, but definitely enjoyable.

Other songs I loved in 2007:

The Sweet Escape -- Gwen Stefani
Beautiful Girls -- Sean Kingston (yeah, that one's worn off)
Boston -- Augustana
No One -- Alicia Keys

Songs I loathed in 2007:

Rehab -- Any Whinehouse (I'm sorry, but I don't see any talent whatsoever, only drug-addled mess.)
Before He Cheats -- Carrie Underwood (I'm not a fan of vandalism, even if he did cheat.)

I'm running out of fodder. I didn't listen to a lot of pop music in 2007--I think my tastes were running more to older stuff and country. Half the songs on the list I'm using, I don't even know!

The Decade in Music: 2006

In 2005, the California Girl came back, took on a high school choir position, and I finally, for the first time since 2001, had my own apartment again. Where I could blast my newly-downloaded iTunes library to my heart's content.

At the time, I liked "Chasing Cars" by some group called Snow Patrol. It would be three more years before I saw them live and realized just how awesome they are.

Other songs I loved in 2006:

Waiting on the World To Change -- John Mayer (the first 2,531 times I heard it.)
How to Save a Life -- The Fray
Upside Down -- Jack Johnson
Move Along -- All-American Rejects
Crazy -- Gnarls Barkley

Songs I loathed in 2006:

Hips Don't Lie -- Shakira (though, in general, I like her, I wasn't crazy about this one)
You're Beautiful -- James Blunt
Temperature -- Sean Paul
We're All In This Together -- High School Musical Cast
Sexyback -- Justin Timberlake

Forgotten Gem of 2006

Since we're getting into the last few years, there really aren't any "forgotten" gems.

The Decade in Music: 2005

Ahh, 2005. Another eventful year. I spent the first seven months in England, then returned to the USofA--but not to California. No, I embarked on a year of adventure and fun in Washington, living in a forest on a mountain near the ocean (well, the Puget Sound, anyway).

Immediately on arriving home, I started listening to Natasha Bedingfield's "These Words" obsessively because I'd heard it while out with friends in England and it reminded me of good times. Plus, it's a great song.

2005, unfortunately, gave us The Pussycat Dolls. Ugh. I really, really, really hate this song.

Other songs I loved in 2005:

Collide -- Howie Day (another for the What Was I Thinking? files)
Boulevard of Broken Dreams -- Green Day
Wake Me Up When September Ends -- Green Day (even though it is basically the same line sung 37 times in a row.)
Speed of Sound -- Coldplay

Songs I loathed in 2005:

Daughters -- John Mayer
Because of You -- Kelly Clarkson
Sugar We're Going Down -- Fall Out Boy

Forgotten Gem of 2005

From the movie version of Rent, Seasons of Love. I love Rent. And this song.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Decade in Music: 2004

2004 was a big year in many ways. I left my first teaching position. I secured a job in England. I started a blog. And then I boarded a 747.

A big year, indeed. The soundtrack, as ever, rocked.

I fell, in a big way, for Maroon 5. I still like their stuff to this day, but they've obviously been replaced. However, my time in England has a lot of memories to rocking out in my classroom during my free periods to Maroon 5.

Going back to England put me solidly back into Robbie Williams Love. He had a new single out, "Radio," which was really only "meh," but I still bought it.

And, of course, 2004 was the year that Keane released Hopes and Fears, their first album, and along with it, "Somewhere Only We Know."

I never need an excuse to post that one on the LPB.

I liked the song even then. I remember when they played it on Saturday Night Live--one of the rare times I stayed up to watch SNL, not even knowing who these guys were.

Other songs I loved in 2004:

White Flag -- Dido
My Immortal -- Evanescence
Vertigo -- U2
I Miss You -- Blink 182
Heaven -- Los Lonely Boys
The Reason -- Hoobastank (saw them live this past September. I'm sort of over them now.)
Accidentally In Love -- Counting Crows

Songs I loathed in 2004:

Redneck Woman -- Gretchen Wilson (I'm so over those songs that are all about over-the-top, "I'm a bitch! I'm a redneck! I'm a social outcast!" pride)
Toxic -- Britni Spears (played constantly at the gym. EAR WORM!! EEEK!!)
Take My Breath Away -- Jessica Simpson (You don't remake a classic. You. Just. Don't.)
You Raise Me Up -- Josh Groban (no, this song actually brings me down)

Forgotten Gem of 2004

Try as I might, I couldn't find a hidden gem from 2004.

The Decade in Music: 2003

Ahhh, 2003. This was the year I finally got out of the US again (a Spring Break trip to Rome) and discovered non-American pop music, like Junior Senior. I still love "Move Your Feet" and "Can I Get-Get-Get." Fabulous.

On the American front, things remained pretty much as they were in 2002. Justin Timberlake took over, while JC Chasez had one hit and then fizzled out. I never understood that, because I always thought that JC's lead vocals in N*Sync were much better than Justin's nasally whine.

Anyway, Pop Royal Couple Justin and Britni broke up that year. We all cried a river.

Especially when we heard this song.

For once, I found myself liking Christina Aguilera. I still thought her singing was a wee bit over-ornamented, but the song and message behind "Beautiful" was, well, beautiful.

Other songs I loved in 2003:

Hey Ya -- Outkast (even my Mormon sister-in-law liked this. I didn't have the heart to tell her what some of the lyrics meant)
Landslide -- Dixie Chicks
Where Is The Love? -- Blacked-Eyed Peas featuring Justin Timberlake
If You're Not the One -- Daniel Bedingfield
Clocks -- Coldplay (my first brush with this British band.)
Bring Me To Life -- Evanescence (how my tastes have improved!)
The Remedy -- Jason Mraz
Swing, Swing -- All-American Rejects
Calling All Angels -- Train
Blowing Me Up (With Her Love) -- JC Chasez (so much better than JT's stuff)

Songs I loathed in 2003:

In Da Club -- 50 Cent (though I did love "In The Tub" by Bert and Ernie, which my local radio station obligingly played one morning.)
Stacy's Mom -- Fountains of Wayne (what the hell kind of stupid band name is that, anyway?)
Picture -- Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock (such an unlikely pairing, and not a very good song)
Don't Know Why -- Norah Jones (her voice reminded me of a girl named Jen I knew in high school who was very cruel to lots of people)
Milkshake -- Kelis (Ugh...just, ugh.)
Your Body is a Wonderland -- John Mayer

Forgotten Gem Turd of 2003

I couldn't decide then. Love it or hate it? I guess I didn't really love it, 'cause I'd forgotten about it 'til I found it on a list just now.

Now that I've listened to it again...Ugh! That is some shouty, unhealthy singing.

The Decade In Music: 2002

2002 was The Year of The Credential. I finally finished 6 years of education (five years undergrad and one year post) and was able to make my way in the world as a working adult. I always had a good soundtrack to listen to.

That year, I absolutely LOVED "Starry-Eyed Suprise" by Paul Oakenfold (featuring Shifty Shellshock). It was catchy and fun.

I was also all over the Avril Lavigne thing--why, I can't remember. Maybe I was high on my own achievements once I had my first teaching position. Yeah, we'll go with that.

2002 saw the rise of the first American Idol, Kelly Clarkson. I've never understood how so many people can watch that show and think that any of those kids (okay, except Jennifer Hudson) are doing anything more than ruining their vocal chords. Kelly Clarkson sounds like she's in pain when she sings. I don't know how she has any vocal chords left.

Anyway, "A Moment Like This" was the number one most-requested song that year, which makes me want to vomit.

Other songs I loved in 2002:

The Game of Love -- Santana (featuring Michelle Branch)
Sk8er Boi -- Avril Lavigne (I have since gotten rid of her album)
She Hates Me -- Puddle of Mudd (this was back when screeching the f-word in a song seemed so exciting)
Cleaning Out My Closet -- Eminem (say what you will, but that album showed Em's talent.)
Lose Yourself -- Eminem
Underneath Your Clothes -- Shakira
Just Like a Pill -- Pink
No Such Thing -- John Mayer

Songs I loathed in 2002:

Hot in Herre -- Nelly (no, I won't take off all my clothes, you perv.)
Dirrty -- Christina Aguilera (what's with all the double "r" spellings?)
Jenny From The Block -- Jennifer "JLo" Lopez
The Ketchup Song -- Las Ketchup

Forgotten Gem of 2002

I always thought that Kelly Rowland was better than Beyonce once Destiny's Child disbanded. "Stole" was actually a really good song.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Decade in Music: 2001

2001 was a major year of transition for me. I graduated from college, and spent the first four months of the year obsessing over clarinet music for my senior recital.

But it was the year that Train would blow me away with "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)," my theme song to this very day.

The lyrics to this song are printed out and pasted in a scrapbook I took to England in 2004, and this song is still one of my most-played favorites.

Apparently, "The Cha Cha Slide" by Mr. C the Slide Man was a huge hit in 2001, but I missed it entirely. I actually did not ever see this dance until 2008, when I chaperoned a middle school dance.

Cha-cha now, ya'll.

I feel I was probably one of the very few who couldn't stand "Lady Marmalade" by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil Kim and Mya. It just wasn't my thing, even if the video was kind of cool.

Other songs I loved in 2001:

Beautiful Day -- U2
Follow Me -- Unkle Kracker
Hanging By a Moment -- Lifehouse (Then I bought the CD and realized all 12 songs on it sounded exactly a like. Definitely a one-note band.)
Superman -- Five For Fighting
Only Time -- Enya
The Space Between -- The Dave Matthews Band
When It's Over -- Sugar Ray
Angel -- Shaggy
Let Me Blow Ya Mind -- Eve, featuring Gwen Stefani

Songs I loathed in 2001:

I'm a Slave 4 U -- Britney Spears
Love Don't Cost a Thing -- Jennifer Lopez
Turn Off the Light -- Nelly Furtado
Fallin' -- Alicia Keys
I Hope You Dance -- Lee Ann Womack (talk about overplayed--I heard this yesterday and thought, "What, STILL?!")
Bootylicious -- Destiny's Child (sorry, I just never jumped on that bandwagon)
Hero -- Enrique Iglesias

Forgotten Gem of 2001

I loved this song in 2001! The Corrs were a group of Irish siblings with more success in the UK and Ireland than here, but "Breathless" had some play time in the States.

Notice in the video how little face time the brother of the group gets, while his three sexy sisters writhe and pout at the camera. Heh.

The Decade in Music -- 2000

**Ed Note: This is the decade in music as I saw it. There's far too much out there, and I had my own personal tastes, just like anyone.**

I thought it might be fun to compile a post of the best (and worst) popular music of the decade, as 2009 wanes and a new decade approaches. I started the year 2000 as a huge, insane fan of N*Sync. I was never much for any of the other boy bands, but my college music major butt was way into these charming, handsome lads. My favorite, Lance, turned out to be gay, but isn't that just the story of my life?

N*Sync had it all--they were more Disney-friendly and likable than the Backstreet Boys, and far less annoying than 98 Degrees. They had moves, looks (even Chris was cute in his way, admit it!), and they could actually sing.

But like all pop culture phenomenons, there was only so much the public could take, and before we knew it, we were saying "Bye Bye Bye" to N*Sync in favor of newer, fresher music.

Also popular that year was the horrid, unescapable "Graduation Song" by Vitamin C.

Facebook and MySpace allowed me to get back in touch with the friends I wanted to know about, but frankly, I was glad to see high school slide behind me, and I've never needed a cheesy-ass pop song to remember the highs and lows of school--I've got a scrapbook for that.

In 2000, just when we thought we wouldn't have to deal with her one more time, Britni did it again.

Between this catchy song (I admit it!) and "Lucky," I almost started to like Brit-Brit. Almost. But not quite. There's enough vocal snob in me to hate admitting that. I'm not that innocent.

Girl could move, though.

Other songs I loved in 2001:

All the Small Things -- Blink 182
Goodbye Earl -- Dixie Chicks
Only God Knows Why -- Kid Rock (But--but--he was so EDGY!)
Angels -- Robbie Williams (this was a US hit in 2001, but a hit way earlier in the UK)
Pinch Me -- Barenaked Ladies
I Think I'm In Love -- Jessica Simpson (a one-time lapse in judgement)
Meet Virginia -- Train
I Try -- Macy Gray (a decade later, I can't stand it)
Learn To Fly -- Foo Fighters (the video was awesome).

Songs I loathed in 2001:

I Knew I Loved You -- Savage Garden
Say My Name -- Destiny's Child
Jumpin' Jumpin' -- Destiny's Child (in fact, I can't recall ever liking any of their stuff)
Thong Song -- Sisqo
What a Girl Wants -- Christina Aguilera

Forgotten Gem of 2001

Back Here by BBMack

I had forgotten about this! Aww, the fresh-faced British lads of BBMak. I wonder what happened to them? I see a Wikipedia search in my immediate future, and a post about the music of 2001 in yours.

My Holiday Weekend in Pictures

Just a few pics of a fun, quiet holiday weekend with my parents (and the cats).

Christmas Eve

From playing with wrapping ribbon to long winter's naps, the Cooper Cats (Kooper Kitties?) had a very happy Christmas.

We ate Mexican food on Christmas Eve, so that I could control my portions and what I was putting in my mouth. Whole wheat tortillas, beans, chicken, and I didn't use any cheese on mine.

Christmas Day

We went to dinner at some family friends' home. Vern and Claire and my parents go way back. Dad and Vern were in Nav/EW school together before Dad even met Mom! They are lovely people, and we had a very nice Christmas dinner with them.

On the way, I snapped a picture of myself.


Yesterday, Mom and Dad indulged me by driving to Santa Rosa to see the Charles Schulz Museum. They'd never been, but this was my third visit.

I've taken tons of pictures of the place, so yesterday I didn't really take a lot of pictures. However, the "Psychiatric Health Booth" set up in front made me squeal so loud, Dad almsot hit a parked car. I ran over to it. Dad said, "Do you want me to take your picture?"

Silly question, Daddy!

Having never used the bathrooms in the museum, I had never noticed their fabulous signs.

After the museum, we walked across the street to the Snoopy Gallery and Gift Shop. I made out like a bandit. Christmas figurines were on sale, and I also bought a plush Franklin doll. I had never seen a plush Franklin before, as he's not as well-known as Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and Sally.

All in all, a quiet, relaxing weekend. Mom and I watched Pride and Prejudice one evening, and Persuasion another. I'm working my way through Wives and Daughters (the theme, here, is BBC period dramas based on Jane Austen or Elizabeth Gaskell novels).

I'll be returning home on New Year's Eve. There had been tentative plans for a date, but those fell through, so I think I'll do some big-time cleaning/purging in Casa Meg. The new year seems the right time for it. I want to deep-six my old pots and pans and put the new ones I got for Christmas in place. My old ones are so beat-up from many moves that the lids won't fit on them anymore! As someone who is taking back her diet, it's important to have a good set of kitchenware.

Hopefully, too, I'll find some inspiration to post my year in review posts soon. : )

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I've given up on New Year's Resolutions, really, but as 2010 inches closer, I have ONE resolution--New Year's or otherwise--that I intend to keep.

GOAL WEIGHT, people. GOAL WEIGHT. It happens this year.

Hardly Surprsing

According to this article, California comes it at number 1 in net loss of residents this year (which actually ended July 1).

This is hardly surprising, as the economy here is horrible, jobs are scarce, and layoffs and furlough days become necessities. The Gold Rush this ain't.

As the New Year approaches, and with it, the March 15th deadline for teacher layoffs, I continue to ponder my own future in this state. If I lose my job this year, sometimes I wonder if moving out-of-state might not be the best bet.

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Year in Music

2009 was a big year for me, musically. I attended and performed in a ton of concerts, and my iTunes library is all the better for it.

In April, I performed Brahms' German Requiem with Stockton Chorale and Stockton Symphony. The experience was amazing--even singing in German (which, along with French, I find very difficult) did not deter me, and after a few months of hard work, I was confident in my German-singing abilities.

In May, we tackled Rutter's Requiem, a lovely modern requiem with some awesome harmonies and incredible musical moments.

At some point in March or April, I noticed that a band I "liked" was coming to Oakland in May. This band was, of course, Keane. I knew exactly ONE song, "Somewhere Only We Know." But ooh, how I loved that song. I remember hearing it a lot in 2004/2005, and buying the CD...and stupidly, never listening to the rest of it!

In 2006, when I was preparing to move back to California from Washington, I copied "Somewhere Only We Know" to my new iTunes account, and sold the CD. It would become my 2nd most-played song until May 2009, when Summer and I went to the Oakland gig.

You know the story--I am now an OBSESSED KEANE FAN. Well, maybe not obsessed to the point of tattooing their names on my chest or chasing after them after the show. But I love, love, LOVE their music and even laid down some money to buy a scarf with their lyrics on it recently.

I don't care what the critics say. I think these guys are amazing. Great lyrics, great tunes, talented guys. And for once, you've got a lead singer who can actually sing.

In July, I had an opportunity to see Coldplay live in concert. They are a fun band, but they just couldn't beat Keane for me--even if they did cover Billie Jean in honor of the recently-passed Michael Jackson.

Also in July, I got over a big hurdle (singing in front of family and friends) and posted a video of myself singing on YouTube.

I can sing on a stage, but ask me to sing in front of family or friends and I just...can'

In September, I went to A Day in the Zone, sponsored by a Sacramento radio station. Colbie Caillat, Howie Day, and Hoobastank were there, but I only had a desire to see the headliners: Train. Train and I go way back, to Drops of Jupiter, which is my theme song.

Train didn't disappoint live. Their lead singer doesn't have the singing chops of Keane's Tom Chaplin, but he makes up for that in energy and sexiness.

October found me eagerly looking forward to another trip to Oakland's Fox Theater to see Snow Patrol, with opening guest Plain White T's.

The T's were fun live, but other than their two big hits ("Hey There Delilah" and "1, 2, 3, 4") I wasn't all that excited by them.

Snow Patrol is one of those bands, like Keane, that I knew on a certain level that I would enjoy, but I didn't walk into the show knowing a hell of a lot about them. I walked out a new fan, and have since bought quite a few of their songs on iTunes. They are sooo much more than "Chasing Cars" and "Run."

They are, for example, "Just Say Yes," "Crack the Shutters," and "You Could Be Happy."

A week later, I went back to Oakland to see the FABULOUS Mika, after learning about him from my equally FABULOUS friend, Dani. Mika did not disappoint. He is an absolute doll, and a total jumping bean on stage--even with a major foot injury!

His "Happy ENding" is one of my favorites. Even with its sad lyrics, it is just a great tune.

And gotta love it when a guy isn't afraid of his falsetto!

Honorable mentions this year go to Lady Gaga, Doves, Metric, and Muse. These artists/bands also caught my attention and interest, and I look forward to seeing what they produce in 2010.

Now, Keane, will you PLEASE come back to California soon?!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have a Beautiful Holiday

There's a lesson to be learned in "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

1. Never judge something (or someone!) on looks alone.

2. Understand that everything (everyone!) deserves something special.

3. Don't give up just because something doesn't look quite right.

4. Find beauty in unlikely places, and celebrate it with your friends.

5. Dance like no one's watching--even if all you can do is jump from one foot to the other while waving your hands over your head.

You, dear readers, are the ornaments on my tree, the fuzz on my Santa hat, and the goodies in my stocking.

Have a wonderful Christmas.


Meg of the Little Pink Blog

A Trip to the Farm

Mom and I went to A Chance For Bliss yesterday. I didn't take as many pictures as usual, because I had horse slobber all over my hands from giving out carrots and apples.

They have a new equine resident, Atlas. Atlas is so named because he's a little guy who thinks he's huge.

He's still a stallion, but that will change soon! He's quite agressive, and even though he's small, he's not above biting a mare on the leg so she falls to his level.

He was found abandoned on a highway in Lake County. His owner didn't want him anymore.

We watched as Dee and Woody put him in the back pasture with the younger, sassier group. It was amazing to watch the herd run around, kicking up their heels and snapping at the newbie. He gave it right back.

Some other random shots from our time at the farm follow. As ever, it was a lovely visit!

Quincy is another newbie--very sweet and let me lead him back to his pasture after getting thoroughly brushed. Those horses do love the mud.

Doc has the cutest cowlick.

Odie. I gave him extra love because he's getting on in years and might not make it much longer. :(

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What inspired you to go into teaching?

I think I always knew I'd end up a teacher. All through my school years, people told me I'd be a great teacher. Of course, I was a complete music nerd. It wasn't until college that I realized I could combine the love of music and the desire to be a teacher by majoring in music education.

Sometimes I think, though, that I won't always be a teacher. There might come a point where I have to leave the career. It can be stressful.

Ask me anything...whether I choose to answer is up to me. ; )

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jelly Belly Madness

Yesterday, Summer and I met at the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield. Niether of us had ever been, and thought it might be a fun diversion.

It was, indeed, quite fun. The factory was not in production yesterday, as it was Sunday, but we got a good tour and they showed several videos on monitors of the history of Jelly Bellies, and how they are made.

It's a really cute place, located on Jelly Belly Lane, with Jelly Belly decor all around (even the carpet!) and plenty of Jelly Belly goodies (edible and non-edible) in the gift shop.