Writing And Music And Where They Merge

I connect very strongly to music. I’m not telling most of you anything you didn’t already know. When I feel sad or lost or hurt or alone…music is my company and my anchor. When I’m happy or excited or energized…music helps me express myself. Regardless, the thing that centers me is music.

I’ve had friends ask me why, if I love music so much, did I choose to follow my bliss to writing? It’s a fair question. The thing that I love about my music are the fact that the smallest phrase can evoke a song into my head…and follow it’s path through my mouth. I love the spontaneity I can enjoy with music. If I decided to follow this as my discipline…I’d have to truly work at it. Practice. Repeat songs. For me, that would create a loss of joy….and probably, in the end, I’d come to resent that which I love so much today.

Writing, on the other hand, playing with words…tossing them to and fro to create just the right phrase, the right image…well, heck! I can do that all day. I love that aspect. It doesn’t get old or boring or tired. In fact, you’ll catch that it’s the lyrics of a song that truly draws me in. Yes, I can appreciate music that doesn’t have words…but my passion and imagination soars with lyrics.

I think that’s part of what makes certain movies so memorable to me, too! Their soundtracks…where long after the movie is done, you’ll hear a song on the radio and remember that moment, that scene, that image…and smile. I’m a sucker for movie soundtracks! Why? Because I get a variety of songs from a variety of talented musicians…sometimes artists I’d never otherwise discover!

So, today, I’m going to share with you my Top 5 favorite movie soundtracks…showcasing my favorite songs from each one…

But before that, I just wanted to thank you all for your encouraging words regarding my family…and the songs you shared…Please continue them. My father-in-law’s oncology appointment and scan are today. His doctor is pretty sure the cancer is back. That’s the thing about Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma…it will always come back. But he’s a 2 time survivor already, so I’m refusing to have anything but good thoughts. For me, that equates to music and laughter, so I’m going to share with you a little known Joey Lawrence song from an old movie he did called Prince For A Day. People forget that the guy could sing. For whatever reason, I saw that movie once when I was much younger, but the lyrics always stayed with me. You’ll see why.  The song is called “Don’t Lose Heart”.

And to feed my need for humor right now I figured I’d stick to Blossom alumni and give you guys one of my favorite Big Bang Theory experiments by Mayim Bialik.

Now, on to my top 5 movie Soundtracks in no particular order…

I can’t talk about soundtracks without mentioning The Sound Of Music. Who can resist the beauty of a voice like Julie Andrews? She is one of my all time favorite musicians…and always will be. (Christopher Plummer wasn’t exactly a slouch, either.) I nearly chose “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria”, but I have an even bigger, more romantic favorite… The discovery of a requited love…

The next song is from one of my all time favorite Christian Slater movies…Pump Up The Volume. I was torn between this Concrete Blonde song and Ivan Neville’s “Why Can’t I Fall In Love”.

I also loved 10 Things I Hate About You…so many great songs on this one…but this one gets me moving. Love Letters To Cleo…and miss Heath Ledger & have always been a big Julia Styles fan.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers stole my heart in the Pretty Woman Soundtrack, though the whole thing is chock full with awesome tunes!

I chose this last one to be my final selection because it’s powerful and uplifting…and something that lightens my heart…and hopefully yours. It’s from Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit. Man, can Lauryn Hill sing!

So what about you guys? Do you have favorite soundtracks? Maybe favorite songs from certain movies? What uplifts you when your heart is heavy? Your turn to share…and hopefully I’ve made you laugh…or smile…or brought back some memories. 🙂

Bill Engvall Was Right. Stupid People Need Signs.

20130130-111252.jpg

I think I was in fifth grade when I discovered my love for warning and rules and regulations signs. We were on a field trip into downtown Chicago…probably to one of the numerous museums we have…when our teacher stood up and made the following announcement.

“Kids, there are signs all over the city that warn you to beware of pickpockets. When you see these signs your instinct will be to check for your wallet or wherever else you may be keeping your money. Ignore your instincts. The smart pickpockets know this and are probably just leaning on the sign, waiting for YOU to make their job easy and let them know where your money is.”

I laughed a little, but found myself thinking, my…how very clever!

Unfortunately, not everyone is all that brilliant… In fact, it blows my mind how much common sense flies out the window! It shouldn’t. I mean, Bill Engvall made a career based on the fact that stupid people should be required to wear signs that say they’re stupid so you’d know what to expect…and that Warning Labels were created because some idiot tried it, then wrote to the company to complain. He’s right!

Back when I first started my blog last August I saw these ground rules at one of those gamer stores. Here’s the link to that post in case you missed it. Some of those rules are hilarious while others are rules to live by! Role Play Games

Why am I revisiting this? Because of a couple things I’ve seen in the last week. you see, last week I was running some errands with a friend & we stopped by his veterinarian’s office to pick up meds for his dog. As we sat there waiting, my eye wandered to the warning sign framed on their wall. Now I’m really wishing I took a picture of it.

The warning said, “Under no circumstance do we accept returns on your dog medications, nor do we give refunds for them.” I laughed. Looking over at the receptionist I said, “does that seriously happen?” She nodded & told me it happened often enough to merit the sign. All I could think of was how those meds could be replaced by anything and brought back if they accepted returns…and how dangerous that could prove to be.

Then yesterday we went to my favorite adult toy shop and for the first time I noticed their sign. Theirs stated that the only returns they took were on defective products and that all sales were final due to sanitation laws. Again, I laughed to myself…

Looking at the owner’s daughter who was working I said, “Eww! I can’t believe that’s even a problem. YOU wouldn’t want someone else’s used toys, so what on God’s green earth makes you think someone would want yours!”

She laughed and nodded, “But you use common sense.”

“It just means you’d better pay attention when you shop and be sure that what you’re buying is truly something you want,” I said.

So you guys tell me… What signs or warning labels have had you scratching your head? Have you ever been witness to any odd returns? What warning label have you seen that’s either had you shaking your head or just laughing hysterically?

Super Hero or Happily Ever After?

I was on the phone with a gal pal of mine last week when plans for the weekend came up. Her boys were going to be camping with her husband, so she was planning mother/daughter time.

Her: My 12 year old daughter has her first celebrity crush.
Me: Awww!
Her: So let me ask you a question. If a 12 year old had a crush on an Avenger, who do you think it would be?
Me: Probably Captain America…or maybe Thor.
Her: Right! Captain America was All-American…clean cut. Thor…well, everyone has a crush on him these days. But not my daughter!
Me: Really? Who is it? I guess I could kind of see Hulk! Please tell me it’s not Ironman…he’s just a bit naughty for a 12 year old!
Her: Not my daughter. She has a crush on Hawkeye!
Me: Ok…I can see it. His a bit of a badass boyscout…but with a dark side.
Her: Yup! Jeremy Renner…most of his characters are that way. I guess she’s a lot more like her mother than I realized, LOL!
Me: (laughing) I guess so! I really loved him in his Bourne movie.
Her: Absolutely! So, since hubby and the boys are away this weekend, I’ve decided to indulge her crush and take her to see Hansel And Gretel…Of course, that indulges me, too.

Well, as it turned out, hubby and I took a very good friend to see that same movie to celebrate her birthday…. If you haven’t seen the trailers for this movie yet…let me give you a taste.

As I sat there watching previews before the movie started I couldn’t help but think back to my childhood. Growing up, I remembered being told fairy tales…just like most of you. The usually started with a Princess…had an Evil Witch (or maybe a Dragon) and had a happy ending! They were mostly sweet and light…kind of like the Disney movies.

But there was this other side…the Fairy Tales I read about. Yes, I was that girl who checked out Grimm’s Fairy Tales from the library when I was in 3rd grade. I was fascinated with how different many of those tales were from their Disney counterparts. They were darker…scarier…definitely not so saccharine sweet! And I LOVED them! In fact, I loved reading them as much as I thrilled reading Greek Mythology! It seemed more realistic somehow…even at that young age. It also fed my thirst for “other” worlds and adventures. It opened my mind up to possibility! I wouldn’t say I was cynical already…but I was well aware that the sugar of Disney tales…while cute and great for “little” kids…was just too “goody two shoes” to be within the realm of possible.

It seems that there Hollywood is finally starting to tell the darker, scarier versions of these stories, too! I first noticed it with Red Riding Hood (which I still need to see)…

That movie was followed by Snow White And The Huntsman…which I DID see…and enjoyed! Sadly, I’m not a huge Kristen Stewart fan, and this was the movie in which she had the “affair” with her director. She was actually pretty good in this movie…though, there’s no question that Chris Hemsworth definitely stole the show. I also really liked that Snow White ended with her Prince, and not The Huntsman…leaving him available for my fantasies. 🙂

While watching Hansel & Gretel (which, in my opinion….was good, not GREAT), they played a preview for Jack The Giant Slayer…an interpretation of the Jack In The Beanstalk story. It looked action packed…and awesome! It was also pretty cool seeing Obi Wan playing this kind of role…and yes, I’m well aware of the fact that he was played by Ewan McGregor…but I love the series enough to always associate him with that character. See for yourself…

Now my buddy WordSurfer can get all in depth as to the history and import of the darker fairy tales… And I’d agree. But most important to me is the fact that it’s pretty awesome to see some of my favorite stories from my youth being brought to life (albeit with all sorts of different Hollywood twists) in these action packed movies in the same way that all my favorite superheroes are! The fact that a couple of them are playing dual roles as superheroes/fairy tale heroes is just icing on my cake!

Don’t get me wrong…there’s room for those Disney princesses… I still enjoy those stories, too. But there’s nothing quite so thrilling to me as a bit of action packed nostalgia. So let me ask you…what kinds of books/stories/characters were you drawn to as a child? What do you think of this new Hollywood trend?

 

Life And Curve Balls

I had this whole big blog post set in my head, but as often happens with life…we were thrown a curve ball. Instead I’ll simply ask this… Please keep my father-in-law in your thoughts and prayers. At his annual physical his doctor noticed one of his eyelids drooping and ordered an MRI. He wants to rule out a stroke. The up side is that his eye lid is the only symptom he’s exhibiting that may point in that direction.

More serious is the fact that this strong, determined 2x cancer survivor has found a mass in his lung area… His doctor is insisting he see his oncologist and do more tests immediately…so our fingers are crossed. Hubby is very concerned as the uncle that died a few months ago was his dad’s brother. As I said…good thoughts and prayers are much appreciated. (I could use the prayers to keep me strong for him…and the rest of our family, especially since I was blessed with amazing in-laws).

I could also use advice from my Filipino friends/followers. My sister-in-law will be heading to the Philippines on business for about 2 months and staying in areas I’ve never been. If any of you are familiar with Bohol, Boracay & Apo Reef, I’d appreciate any advice or feedback that I can relate back to her.

The icing on the cake? I also got my summons for jury duty today. Yeah, it’s one of those days… So I’m gonna lean on you guys for a while… Any feel good songs or words of encouragement for me today?

 

Maiden Voyage

20130127-191822.jpg

Listening to
Graceful crash
Of lightly, rippling
Waves.
Glass shatters
Across the hull,
Rivulets
Of bubbling gold
Gliding down.
Step ‘board
My wooden chariot,
Opaque sheets
Spread upward,
Angled high
Against the beautiful
Backdrop;
Cerulean sky.
Enjoy
The peaceful lull;
Curving to and fro.
I plan
A quest to find “me”…
Parchment guides
Etched by explorers
Past.
Rolled out,
Determined,
To plot my course.
Gazing blindly,
I try,
Pencil to paper,
To render my path.
Eyes unseeing,
I turn away,
Look out into
The unending
Deep blue,
And realize
I was never
Missing.

Friday, I went to Selby Botanical Gardens with my mom and a good friend in need of a distraction. Placed along the Gulf of Mexico, I found myself looking out at the water and daydreaming. The above picture is one of many I took that day. Here are a couple more.

20130127-192750.jpg

Here is one of a bonsai tree…I imagined fairies frolicking beneath those beautifully sculpted branches.

20130127-193641.jpg

Here is an image of only one of the exotic beauties we saw that day.

20130127-193030.jpg

My friend playing bird whisperer…a great way to distract him from his troubles. And finally, below is the souvenir dwarf pineapple plant I took home. Isn’t it gorgeous? Where do you find your peace & beauty?

20130127-193413.jpg

Caught In The Act…Almost.

Although I was the “queen of sex information”, it wasn’t until a little more than 10 years ago that I bought anything that could be perceived as a traditional sex toy. As many of you know, my first career was in medically related. After having worked in the ER, seeing some of these kinds of “mishaps” I’m sure you can understand my concern. I mean…I practically grew up at that hospital. Many of the staff were either family or close friends of the family. There was no way I wanted to subject myself to that kind of embarrassment.

There was another part to my trepidation about visiting an adult shop. In fact, I’d hazard that even the most open minded women have moments of hesitation at the thought of walking into a shop…especially alone! When I pictured going, it was always a dimly lit place, or dirty. Even worse was the concern of who might see you there or the type of employee working behind the counter. Always, in my mind’s eye, I’d picture the worst….and there are times when that’s exactly what you get…I mean, many of you read about my last visit….

I had been in Florida for about a year when I decided to go back home to Chicago for a visit. While staying at my mom’s place one of my best friends from Junior High and I decided to meet for breakfast. As happens with old friends, breakfast turned into spending the day together. While hanging out she mentioned that she had plans to go to a pleasure party at a friend’s house and invited me to come along. She’d never been to one and was a bit embarrassed at the thought of going alone. I’d never been to one before, but thought it sounded like a blast!

While we were there all sorts of toys and creams and lingerie were paraded around for us to check out. Of course with a room full of women, there was much giggling. I thought it was a great alternative to going to an adult store. Better yet, your orders were taken privately and individually, and were wrapped in brown paper bags so that no one knew what you purchased. Of course women talk, so only a few people’s orders remained private.

When it was my turn to go into the room and order I debated what I wanted to buy. Why? Because I had this image embedded into my brain. My overly vivid imagination had this picture of getting to the airport, preparing to go through security…and as I prepared to check my bag…a vibrator going off….very loudly…from inside my luggage. In my mind’s eye I saw a TSA employee calling in for an assist and a swarm of security officers opening my bag very cautiously…the eyes of everyone in the airport now on that suitcase….as they pull out something that looked like this…(or worse).

Rabbit

The thought completely mortified me. So I played it safe. I purchased a cream called nipple nibblers….strawberry flavored, of course. Their purpose should be obvious. I also picked up a numbing agent for the back of the throat for blowjobs…not Goodhead, though I have tried their stuff, too. I honestly don’t remember the brand anymore. Finally, I purchased something with a minty flavor that made a woman all tingly in her lady parts. 😉

After my fun experience I decided I wanted to try to host one of these parties, myself! I looked around online and found a company called Slumber Parties. I registered online to hostess a pleasure party for my friends and I. I figured…now I could buy some fun stuff and not have to worry about embarrassing myself in front of airport security… (Not to mention family…if my exploration led to an emergency hospital visit)

I was pleasantly surprised. The lady who came out was cool, hilarious…and very knowledgeable. Every single one of my friends walked away buying something. This meant discounts and bonuses for me. This woman was smart. She let us sample the creams…using one hand for the tasting hand and the other for the feeling (things like lubricant, etc). The creams that were created for different sensations down below…she picked a couple of volunteers to sample, put some on a qtip, gave instructions and sent them into the ladies room to try on. It was fun watching them squirm through the presentations on vibrators, etc. (And no, gentlemen…the ladies didn’t all “try them”…we just passed them around and felt how strong the vibrations were in our hands).

Well, you know how concerned I was about those embarrassing moments? They never happened to me….but, thanks to my little party…they DID happen to a couple of friends. I think the vibrator that most intrigued our group of ladies was something called the G-Wiz. This particular toy had two removable silver bullets and battery operated controls. It was meant to hit 3 orgasm spots. There was a clitoral stimulator, a vaginal wall stimulator and it curved to hit the g-spot.

I can still hear our lady telling us…”Now ladies, the G-Spot is NOT a myth. This particular device will not only help you find it, but if you’ve never had one, will help you experience it. You’ve now felt how powerful the vibrations are from those silver bullets. I will warn you of one thing. Be sure you have a towel handy. When you insert this toy and you turn on the power…the curve will have the tip of this toy tapping on your g-spot. You may feel like you have to pee. Do not stop! You do not have to pee. That is the g-spot swelling up to give you that orgasm. Your orgasm will be intense and messy…and it’s NOT pee.”

She wasn’t lying…

One of my friends who purchased that device came up to me a few months later, completely mortified.

Her: Oh my God!

Me: What’s the matter?

Her: Remember that toy I bought at your party?

Me: Yeah…Last I heard you were enjoying it quite a bit!

Her: I was! Now I just want to die!!!

Me: What happened?

Her: Well, you know how tough it is to find “alone time” when you’ve got 4 kids.

Me: Yeah…

Her: It’s even worse when your mother-in-law lives with you, too.

Me: (trying hard not to laugh) Noooo…

Her: I was alone in the house…had a great time…but then I heard the front door, so I dropped the thing by my laundry and rushed to get dress so the kids wouldn’t find anything.

Me: Yeah….?

Her: I went back last night to get it and put it away and I couldn’t find it!

Me: Oh, crap.

Her: That’s when I noticed the laundry had been taken and washed and folded. (in a wail) My mother-in-law did my laundry!!!

Me: Did you ask her if she found it?

Her: Hell no! I’m too embarrassed. I’m not asking her shit! When are you having another party?

And then there was my other friend. She came to work a few weeks later, looked at me and burst out laughing. I gave her one of my “what the heck was that” looks…and once she could breath again she told me.

Her: You remember the pleasure party you had at your house?

Me: Yeah…

Her: Well, since I’ve been working so much I thought I’d buy a little something for Sam.

Me: Like what?

Her: I think you call it a “pocket pussy”.

Me: Oh, I think I remember seeing that in the catalog.

Her: Well, Sam and I have a little toy chest for that sort of thing, especially with 3 boys in the house, but I think he may have forgot to put it away after the last time he used it.

Me: What makes you say that?

Her: He was snoozing on the couch last night, watching tv and one of the boys wanted his attention. I looked over and my son was trying to wake him up by smacking him in the head with it…over and over again.

Me: (laughing hilariously at the image)Pocket P

Her: Yeah…thank goodness I didn’t get the lifelike looking one. That might have been too much. It was all I could do to grab it out of the hands of one of my twins. I couldn’t even ask him where he got it from because I didn’t want to draw attention to what he was holding.

Me: Oh, wow! What did Sam do?

Her: He looked at me, shook his head and walked into the bedroom after taking it out of my hands…his shoulders were shaking as he walked away.

Me: I’ll bet!

All I could think of was that I was immensely grateful that one of my other gal pals didn’t buy the Swing she wanted to buy. She was over 200 lbs…and without knowing how much weight that thing could hold…it could’ve been very, very bad.

Have you had one of those awkward sex toy moments? Or have you had a fear of one of those moments happening to you that’s prevented you from buying one?

I have to say…they’re a ton of fun…but if you have children there are two things to consider. 1.) Have a designated toy hiding spot. 2.) Make sure that the hiding spot has a lock… Having said that, I think it’s getting to be about that time for me to go shopping again. I’ve been thinking something in glass…

C’mon…you can’t say you’re surprised about the music choice considering the content of this post…LOL!