Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Time Has Come

I've moved! If you have a link to me at your blog, or a bookmark to me, I'd be very grateful if you'd take just a moment to change my URL.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Movin' on up

Sorry for my lack of posts this week. I've actually been working on a little project.

I've grown a little bored of my blogging format. So I've been moving into some new digs. And it's quite ironic how moving my little niche of the internet can be just as involved and time-consuming as moving in the real world.

I feel like now is a good time to do it. I have fewer readers to make the move with me right now (or lose) since I've just come out of blog hibernation. It'll also be a good way to jumpstart my motivation to blog even more.

I'm getting all the furniture arranged right now, and when it's ready, I hope you'll all come with me. So get ready to update your bookmarks and links!

I think you'll like my new look & feel. I know I already do, and I'm excited to see what kinds of stuff I'll learn about blogging, and publishing to the web in general. I'm already ready to go take a CSS class!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Swirling around in my head...

In the past whenever I've blogged remotely, it's always been from the coney island restaurant, usually during or after one of their scrumptious veggie omelettes w/extra onions. This is a remote blog post, but I'm not at the coney island. I'm at Panera. (Come to think of it, I have posted from here before.) I think I might make Panera my new favorite out-of-the-house wi-fi spot, because I've discovered they have outlets to plug my laptop into. I've glanced around for some at the coney island and haven't seen any. My laptop is getting to an age where the battery just doesn't have the juice it used to.

Anyway, I'm so content right now. I don't have to worry about my laptop's battery life. I've got my iPod on shuffle as it charges. I have a bottomless cup of coffee beside me...I'm on refill #2. The only thing I would change is to make it just a hair warmer in here right now. I haven't eaten anything yet today, and I'm trying to decide what kind of soup I'm going to order...broccoli cheddar, or cream of chicken & wild rice?

As you know, I'm a proud native of Midland, TX, and I follow a handful of blogs that originate from the area. Check out what I just found over on Jimmy Patterson's blog for today. That's at the Midland International Airport. That's pretty damn cool.

As you might've guessed, the IX took the boys this weekend. How else could I be relaxing at Panera with my laptop? Wouldn't happen if the boys were with me. So I find myself in that position of trying to figure out what to do with myself for the weekend. There's always stuff to clean, that's for sure. My options in this category are:

  • finally get my bedroom cleaned out
  • sweep & mop the kitchen & dining room floors
  • mow the weeds
  • work on my front room/office to make it functional
  • clean my bathroom (actually, bump that to the top of the list. It's NASTY.)
  • reconcile my checking account on my Quicken and pay a couple of bills
Let's see if I actually suck it up and do any of those things.

The Longhorns are in action tonight in Colorado, and since it's on FSN, I'm rather confident I'll get to see it. I slept in until after 11:00 this morning, and it felt so good. Got up, jumped in the shower, and even put on makeup today. I'm figuring out that I'm more motivated to accomplish other tasks if I clean up and make myself presentable. Let's see if it works out. At least I'm out of the house right now...that's progress.

I'm quite proud of my last post. One of my better ones, I think. However I had forgotten that I spoke of 'thangs' just a few days before. I'm losing my mind, I think! Whatever...I'm still proud of that last post.

When following high-profile crime stories, I'm extremely slow to pass judgement. I have no direct knowledge of what actually happened; thus, I don't feel like I have any right to label the accused as guilty or not. However, there are two stories in the news right now which I am finding myself with my own opinion and speculation of guilt and innocence.

My judgement of guilt goes to: O.J. Whether or not he actually did this crime he was just convicted of, I'm glad to learn he's going to jail anyway. I truly think he got off scot-free from murdering his ex-wife fourteen years ago, and it's nice to see that now maybe he'll pay the price for his actions...however recent or long ago they were. Throw the book at him. Let him rot in there. Since the death of his wife and her friend, he has behaved in ways that have proven to me that he's got nothing good to contribute to this world.

And my judgement of innocence goes to: Helio Castroneves. It came as a huge shock to me to learn of his indictment for tax evasion. I feel like I've known him for years, and would never, ever imagine he would or could do anything like this. To read of him in handcuffs and leg shackles?!?!?! weeping in the courtroom breaks my heart. It really does. Of course, he'll be given the chance to plead his case before the court, and hopefully the real truth will come out, whatever it is. But oh, I will feel so hurt and betrayed if it turns out he really did what he's being accused of. Whatever the verdict, his life will be forever changed by this, perhaps unfairly. I'll still be a fan of his until then, and hopefully beyond.

I guess that's about it for now. I ultimately decided on the broccoli cheddar soup since they didn't the cream of chicken today. I've been sitting here for more than two hours, and my butt's getting numb. I hope everyone out there has a wonderful first Saturday of October...

Friday, October 3, 2008

So what's your Thang?

Have you ever had the feeling that there's some big purpose to your life, but you just don't know what it is? That there's some big, very specific reason you've been created, that you're meant to fulfill? Like Tiger Woods was created to golf. Like Michael Jordan was created to play basketball. Like Michael Phelps was created to swim fast. I think they're three examples of the few lucky people that actually discover what their Thang* is for the time they're here. It's their Thang and that's why they gain so much fame and accolades from the greater public. I feel like there's something inside all of us that if we're lucky enough to just figure out what it is and pursue it with all our hearts and souls that we could all be MJ's or TW's or MP's of our specific Thangs. But sadly, so many of us live the whole expanse of our lives never knowing what it is, or that it was even there for us at all.

Tonight I'm feeling like I have a Thang Unrealized. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but I think I might already have the general idea...

I spoke before about having tickets to see Marc Broussard. And of course, I failed to report back in any sort of timely manner. Well, better late than never, right?

It. Was. AWESOME. It was the ideal venue; the only way to see a musician like him. It was in one of those little dive, hole-in-the-wall-type places with a cash bar (luckily I had hit the ATM on my way). Just a couple hundred people. Small stage. Very low-tech. Very intimate. Just him and four, maybe five other guys. And we rocked. Right there with him. So cool.

This guy is doing his Thang. At the ripe old age of 26. He has the blues in his genes. He has the ultimate blues/soul voice. He's got a heart and soul from which the most amazing lyrics & melodies emerge**.

It's his purpose. It's his Thang. And he's running with it.

This week I've had him constantly playing on my iPod. And isn't it funny how a song never made much of an impression on you the first 258 times you listened to them, and then all of a sudden it tweaks something inside you and you're all...WOW! Where did that come from?

Here lately his music has been stirring something inside me. Agitating me. Exciting me.

And frustrating me.

I know my Thang is somewhere in the realm of music. I'm a pretty damn good flute player, but my down & dirty musical knowledge is pretty limited. I know how to turn notes on a page into sounds in your ears, but as for writing music or understanding how the music actually got there, I don't have a clue. Gah, how I'm kicking myself for not picking music as my major in college! I'd know all that shit right now.

My performance experience has basically been confined to the classical genre. Eh, throw showtunes, movie soundtracks, oldies-but-goodies in there. But still...sitting in a concert band, or a flute choir, or smaller ensemble.

There's a couple of tracks on Marc's third album S.O.S.: Save Our Soul that has some pretty rockin' flute licks in it. I could SO do that. I could rock it now if you give me a sheet with music on it and a little time to work it up, but I want to know how to just pick it up and go.

Improvisation, baby. Yeah. That's where it's at.

I know my way around a keyboard, too. But again...can only plunk out notes off the page of an old hymnal and such.

Did I mention I can sing, too? I absolutely love to sing. In a formal churchy-type choir, I'm an alto. Could even sing tenor if they'd let me. (Sexists.)

I wanna be a backup singer. Sure, I'd like to step to the front from time to time, but I get major fulfillment out of adding that harmony. I adore harmony. And to be the one that can hear that complimentary melody in my head, add it to what someone else is already singing and bring a whole other aura to the sound is SO COOL.

(Don't ever agree to go to a karaoke bar with me. You'll be there to close the place down, whether you like it or not. I'm just saying...)

And yes, I can sing well. I might be a little rough around the edges stylistically and could definitely use some formal training, but because I have been cursed blessed with close-to-perfect pitch, I know it more than most when someone's out of tune. So most of the time, I'm not. Out of tune, that is.

As an instrumentalist, I've never had much of a desire to be a soloist. You James Galway or Jean-Pierre Rampal. I have no desire to record a full CD of me playing my flute. I love being part of a group. Big or small, it doesn't matter. I love contributing my own unique part to the whole. I love listening to my partners and appreciating what they're adding to the whole.

Jamming, I think it's called. ;-)

Music is my Thang. I know that. But right now it's still unrealized. I believe that's how it should be for now, though. Right now my priorities are elsewhere. But I also think that this new position I'm at in my life will cultivate a plethora of opportunities that will be busting down my door.

This isn't the time, though.

But it's coming.

I feel it.

*HT to Bill Cosby and his children's show "Little Bill" for reminding me that we all have a thaaaaaaaaaaang, however I sorta took the concept a little further.

**Did you listen to his stuff in my earlier post? Did you? DID YOU? Go back and listen now.


And no, do not collect $200.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Life is good.

I'm starting to feel normal again. Granted, it's a different normal now. My days are starting to feel routine, which in this case, is a good thing. I like the security this routine of life brings me. I like knowing that at 5:00, I get to see my boys. I like knowing that around 5:30, I'll start stressing out over what to make for dinner. I like preparing dinner in my kitchen while the IB runs around playing. He'll come into the kitchen and see steam rising from something on the stove, or see that the oven's on, and say,


But in a whisper, not with his voice. That's the way he's always said that word.

I like chatting with the RK about his day. I like watching the two of them play and making each other laugh. Yeah, that's cool.


The IB and I went grocery shopping Monday night. (The RK had to stay at home to read, since he hadn't done any of his homework during the three hours from the time he got home from school 'til it was time to go to the store. This made him cry. I felt horrible. But the fact is, I would feel even more horrible if he had come along, we all got home around 8:00 PM, and no homework was done yet.) We passed a man in the bread aisle, and all on his own, the IB raises his little hand, and says, "Hi!" The guy said hi back, and we continued on our way. A couple aisles over, in the soup section I believe, we run into the same guy. He grabs a can, and then drops it. The IB witnesses this and says, "Uh oh!" The guy chuckles a little bit, and then states,

"I'm glad he's not mine."

My reply:

"I'm so glad he is mine."

The IB wasn't even misbehaving yet. He was in his prime of IB cuteness. Either this guy was a kid-hater, or else his statement came out far from how he intended it. I have a suspicion he meant that I 'have quite a handful there.' Whatever he meant, I thought I had a pretty great comeback.

I might not have said the same thing back to him if he had made his statement in the freezer section, though. Oy.


I got a phone call from the IX at lunchtime yesterday. I guess things are pretty dire in his world right now, because he was calling to ask me for money. He said they're in danger of losing their electricity, and even getting evicted. He actually had the nerve to suggest I cash-advance my credit cards.

No way. Huh-uh. Not a chance.

I told him that I've busted my ass to establish a secure (relatively speaking) financial situation, and that there's no way I'm going to jeopardize it all to bail him out of this crisis he's brought on himself. (Hmmm...seems like I've heard this before somewhere else.) Okay, that last part I didn't say. I think it went more like I wasn't going to jeopardize it to 'help him out.' He agreed with me on that, anyway. I told him that while I just can't give him a big chunk of money, I would be willing to fill his tank from time to time if he needed gas to get to work, and that if his weekends with the boys were in jeopardy because he can't afford to buy the extra groceries, that I could send some groceries with the boys on those weekends.

I'll do whatever I have to to make sure he keeps that job. After all, about half of his paycheck is going straight into my bank account. I can't go without it.

And as for his weekends with the boys, I'll step up to help him keep a good relationship with them going.

I know how hard it must've been for him to make that call. It took him forever to actually give me any clear idea of what it was he was calling about. (Although after the incident last week, I had a pretty good idea already.) It's a shame that he's carrying on the same immature & careless behavior he learned from his mom (whom I'm sure he called, and of course she couldn't help. In fact, she owes money to him. Us, actually. She's a piece of work, really. I'd write more about her, but I just don't really care anymore.)

I actually feel a little sorry for him. I don't know why, but I do. Don't get me wrong, though...there's a huge feeling of vindication in it all, too. Should it go as far as him getting evicted, well...he can just sleep in his car for all I care. I hope it'd be good for him and he might learn something from it. My boys are being well taken care of right here, so they wouldn't have to suffer any major disadvantage from it. And they're all I care about.

And then this one question pops up into my head, but I'm not really sure I want to know his answer to it.

"Is she worth it?"

Hearing about his plight is motivating me to work even harder, too. I have to admit, it feels pretty damn good to have this upper hand on him right now. Granted my situation is far from comfortable, but my bills get paid. And it motivates me to keep working towards improving the quality of life for me and the boys.

Oh, but he better not lose his job. And I absolutely hate the fact that I'm still so dependent on him for that. Grr.

I want to go back to school. I want to be qualified for better, higher-paying jobs. I just have no idea how or when I could do that. Perhaps if I can just hang on for three more years until the IB starts school...just hang on 'til then. Heck...maybe even before that. As he grows & matures, he'll need less and less of my immediate attention to where I could actually take a class or two. (That sounds kinda bad. I hope y'all know what I mean.)

I'm also contemplating doing a big sell-off on the internet of stuff around the house. I have a feeling I could bring in quite a nice little chunk of change if I did.

Today, though, we have a cozy home. Food in our bellies. We have each other. We're good for now.