"There are notes between notes, you know." -- Sarah Vaughan

Monday, June 28, 2010

The End?

I was doing this in tweets and realized that I needed more room to express myself. Then I thought, I have a blog. DOH!

I've decided to finish a short story I started more than four years ago. It's time. The story is ... more complex now.

On the way back from our little weekend excursion, Mr. SLS and I caught this storytelling show: The Moth. It was funny because, as I listened to the various stories I thought, "I should do that." Then as if he read my mind, Mr. SLS said "You should do that."

When we first started dating I wrote a lot. Then, I stopped. I started blogging and I've written a few work-related pieces, but I have done very little creative writing.

I've been mulling over that unfinished short story for a long time. It's about me and Mr. SLS. At the same time, Mr. SLS has been mulling over an unfinished song for me for a long time, too. Funny that we haven't been able to finish these artistic ventures...

I started writing that story when our relationship was new. I didn't know where it was going. Now, I have more than four years worth of material to draw from and there's more meat on the bone -- and I still can't finish it. Or maybe I don't want to finish it.

Mr. SLS says he struggles with the song he is writing for me because nothing ever captures me the right way. He has a couple of chords he has decided say "MY REAL NAME," but the rest won't gel.

It makes me think about our marriage, which is sort of in the same state as these two artistic ventures...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Who are you competing with?

I have a friend (we'll call her Jane) who is *painfully* self conscious. As in, most of her waking thoughts are about what other people think about her, what she's said, how she looks, her work etc.

I thought this was unique to her, cause surely other people didn't spend that much time and energy focused on what other people think of them, right? Wrong.

Jane has been encouraged by my weightloss efforts and started her own Couch to 5K program. Now, this is not just good news because she is becoming more active, this is good news because Jane has low self-esteem and has not had a real date in about three years because she doesn't think anyone will want her because she is fat. So, to see her get up and do something about this is a BIG deal.

Another friend asked Jane to run a 5K with her in the fall. Jane mentioned it to me and I said, "I'll do it with you!" because it's a good goal for both of us to work toward this summer. Then Jane says this: "I'm scared because, what if I come in last? I would be so embarrassed."


Really? This is your first time ever running a race, a race in which there are likely to be experienced runners and your fear is that you will finish last?

I said, "Who cares if you finish last as long as you FINISH. That's what I am focusing on. FINISHING the race."

I recounted this conversation to my coworker who is a runner and she said, "I thought the same thing in my first race. I was so worried I would be last and it made me tense."


I don't get it. Why the hell would I care about whether some people I don't know who are standing their fat asses on the sidelines while I run and improve my health laugh or whatever at me cause I finish my first 5K race last?

But, that's when the lightbulb went off. This is the same coworker who needs me to reassure them every five minutes that they are doing a good job. She needs constant stroking and approval. Not me. Accolades are nice, but I prefer money.

See, I operate in MY world. I don't give a shit what anybody else is doing, cause I'm doing ME. I compete with ME. With the race, I was thinking about finishing it and what an accomplishment that would be and how I would ask my friends and family to come and cheer me along and how great it would be to do this with my friend. That's all.

Now, race two or three or 45, OK, yeah, I should be pushing myself harder than to just finish. But race one? Let's just get through the race, cross the finish line, reach the goal.

This also brings to mind a conversation with a friend. She was hesitant to put her daughters in dance class because of the potential for body image issues. I countered with this: I took dance lessons -- tap, ballet and jazz. I was a pudgy kid. Maybe the other kids noticed, maybe they didn't, I don't know cause all I cared about was getting on stage and performing. That's it. I don't remember one other girl's name from those classes and I took them from ages 3 to 15. I wasn't there to make friends, I was there to be a star. (<-- people who know me will laugh at this statement cause they *know* how true it is).

But, maybe that's just me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Dinner!

I promised Mr. SLS last week that I would cook a big Sunday dinner because I hadn't done it in awhile so I went to work this morning (filling in for someone on vacation, aren't I nice?), then set out for the grocery store where I got a chicken to bake, a cabbage and other stuff.

But the star of the dinner is my punchbowl cake. Mr. SLS *loves* this cake and it's so simple to make: angel food cake (or if you aren't watching calories, pound cake), vanilla pudding, whipped cream and berries (I use raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries). Then using a glass punchbowl you layer all the ingredients -- cake, pudding, berries, cream -- until the bowl is full. Garnish with a couple of berries and a mint leaf or two. Then put it in the fridge. It's a great summer dessert, not that bad for the waistline and pretty.

Now before I sign off I would like to encourage everyone to make their own whipped cream. It is not that hard!! And it tastes better and is better for you.

All you need is 8 ounces of whipping cream, some confectioners sugar, some vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Here's a secret my Granny taught me: chill the mixing bowl and your WIRE whisk in the freezer before whipping. Pour the whipping cream in the bowl and turn your mixer on low. Throw in the dash of salt right at the beginning (I dunno why, but Granny said do it so I do).

Let it whip for about 30 seconds, then increase your mixer speed gradually while pouring in 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2 to 3 tsps of confectioners sugar. Then turn it up to high and let it whip away.

When your cream looks like this, you're done!

And it only took about 5 minutes total.

Alright my timer is going off so I need to get my chicken out of the oven. Hope you are having a great father's day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stream of consciousness

Ever try to hold on to something so tightly only to wake up one day and realize you didn't even really want it any more?

How free is free? Not free enough for some people and too free for others. Which one are you?

When watching reality TV, I always wonder if people know the difference between confidence and arrogance. Do you?

Are you doing what you want to do? Why or why not?

When you listen to music, what do you hear?

How often do you just sit still and listen?

Do you have a problem with quiet?

Are you a pleasure reader or information-only reader?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Did some sprucing up over here...

Hope you like it! I decided I needed a new look on the blog and this seemed to express my personality more than any of the other templates available to me so voila! this is it.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend and is enjoying the good weather. Take care.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Christian McBride

Thanks to Mr. SLS and his best friend, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. McBride last fall and I've heard him play live several times as well.

In my next life I want to be a bass player -- assuming I grow arms long enough to reach the top part of the bass. (smile)

Anyway, here's some good jazz listening for you on a lazy weekend:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's A Family Affair

Well...let's see. I went down to Georgia and visited my dad and stepmom last weekend and had a great time. It was relaxing to be away from D.C. and to be out of the house and able to just take a break from the stress and whatnot.

I would never ever ever ever say this to my mom, but, sometimes I prefer being with my dad and stepmom to being with other family. My mom's family keeps a lot of mess going all the time with lots of drama, gossip and petty fights. It's dysfunctional. It starts with my Grandma, who likes to pit her children against each other.

My dad's family is more loving. Everybody gets together and laughs and it's easygoing. My Granny is very loving and accommodating and all of us are her "favorite." Except me, I am her VERY VERY VERY favorite. (smile) Way different vibe.

Then last night I told Mr. SLS something his sister-in-law told me and his sister told me and he said, "Damn, you didn't think you were marrying into all this dysfunction did you?" It was funny. You had to be there.

So, crazy is as crazy does and my people are out there, but that's family for ya!