Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tuesday Tunes

I change my name every once in a while
A miracle every once in a while
I create, I am a flame
A flame creator
A random name generator

Omg you guise!  Another Wilco song for Tuesday Tunes, who would have guessed?!  I know, sometimes the Wilco-lover over here gets a little out of hand, but I make no apologies for it.  Wilco is one of the few things to remain constant in my life...which is a weird fact. A fact I just realized the other day.  One of the kids asked me when I started to like Wilco and I instantly knew it was when I was a Sophomore in high school.  My brother introduced me to them via the album A.M. and later Being There, and Summerteeth.  Summerteeth is the one that stuck, the one that got me hooked. (Also, I'd like to kindly point out one of the many benefits of having a blended family is the age gap between siblings.  It's often seen as a negative, which I can understand when kids are very young, but when you reach your teen years, let tell you, it's very helpful, very cool even, to have older siblings in their twenties.)  Anyway, tangent over, back to Wilco...I started listening to Wilco when I was fourteen via A.M. and haven't stopped. 

Each album has held a new truth for me, sometimes more than one.  They have been there during my teen years which are obviously full of growth and turmoil for all of us.  I imagine any of you could name at least one album that you remember clearly from your teen years.  Summerteeth came out a few months before I graduated from high school.  A few years later Yankee Hotel Foxtrot appeared as I began my life as a "real adult" with a job I had earned on my own, and the beginnings of an adult relationship.  I still remember playing 'Reservations' for Tim for the first time.  Feeling that all I needed to say could be said for me by Jeff Tweedy.  I have fond memories of singing,  'My Darling' to Ben, Nate, and Syda when they were babies, connecting with 'On and On and On' after my father's death, and now this song as I go through another life transition. The songs that have narrated huge moments in my life is quite long, and luckily enough for me, I get to keep adding to it because Wilco is not done making albums! 

Their newest addition, Star Wars, was available as a free download on their website when it was first released.  As I type this, I've received a notification via email that they are almost sold out of vinyl copies.  So get over to wilcoworld.net and order if you're a vinyl enthusiast.  Better yet, I got an email notifying me that Wilco is coming my way in January, which means if you are on the East Coast, they are likely coming your way too.  This track off of Star Wars is my current ear worm.  I can't decide what specifically is catching my ear, it's all pleasing, but again Tweedy's lyrics stand out. As much as I love a good beat, or a good riff, nothing gets to me more than lyrics.  It's got to be the writer in me.  Tweedy doesn't fail to bring heartfelt words to our minds via a catchy song that whispers past our ears.  Take a listen and see if you don't end up humming this song by the end of the day. 

Random Name Generator - Wilco

Come on, listen to the wheel this way
I belong to the stars in the day
I ran away
Eternal instigator
Well, I was old
I remember the Milky Way, why?
I belong to the stars in the sky
Random name
Random name generator
Random name generator
Random name generator
Here, lonely in the coldest night
Somebody hold me in the diamond light
A narrator
Mr. Narrator
I want a name and a newborn child
A miracle only ever grows wild
It is a book instigator
A random name generator
I kinda like it when I make you cry
A miracle only once in a while
A random name
Random name generator
I change my name every once in a while
A miracle every once in a while
I create, I am a flame
A flame creator
A random name generator
Come on, cuff me to the weed with some wine
If I miss your breeze or you miss mine
I kinda like it when I make you cry
A miracle every once in a while
Come on, cuff me to the weed with some wine
I think I miss my family I found

I really love this live version.  You can also get the entire KEXP show here.
The studio version rocks pretty damn hard too.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tuesday Tunes

Yes, I know it's technically Wednesday.  I think with the benefit of the holiday weekend though, yesterday was Monday for most of us and that makes today Tuesday (because it's after midnight).

Moon with a halo
Like a pearl in a peasant's hand

Song For Leaving - Brett Dennen

Like a southbound train
Here's a song for leaving
Don't you know the pain
It's a part of the healing

Moon with a halo
Like a pearl in a peasant's hand
Religion on the radio
Advertising a promised land

Everything that attaches
Someday falls apart
When the plan collapses
It can break your heart

Like a southbound train
This is a song for leaving
Don't you know the pain
It's a part of the healing
Like a southbound train
Here is a song for leaving
Don't you know the pain
It's a part of the healing

To the airport in the rain
Sadness seeping through
Leaving faith on a jet plane
Hurling through the blue

Love is the tear
That taught me to fall
Whispered in my ear
Soothing me to my soul

Like a southbound train
Here's a song for leaving
Don't you know the pain
It's a part of the healing

Quiet constellations
I don't walk through the night
Silent salutations
Under a southwestern sky
Battlegrounds behind me
Smoke in the trees
Memories to remind me
Puts my soul to ease

Like a southbound train
Here's a song for leaving
Don't you know the pain
It's a part of the healing
Like a southbound train
This is a song for leaving
Don't you know the pain
It's a part of the healing
This is a train
Get on the train
Get on the train...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Ben is twelve today.  Each year I feel like most moms, incredulous because I can't believe that my first baby is getting older.  Then I do, because it's true, and incredible and I don't want to fight over it. The disbelief isn't due to a longing for him to be a an infant again, or any other younger age, it's simply a shock that so much time has passed so quickly.

Ben was born on a cloudy March morning and there was still plenty of snow on the ground, just like there is today.We had been hit with a snowstorm a few days earlier.  I remember thinking that he would come during that storm, because I had heard stories of "snow babies".  Thankfully he stayed put for a little while.  I'm pretty sure Tim and I thought we had more time before he would be joining us, first babies rarely arrive on their due dates and I didn't want to set up myself up for becoming more impatient than I already was.  Ben had his own plans though, and he knew when he was ready to enter the world and make us a family.

He's always known his own mind, felt comfortable in his skin, and been sure of himself. As he starts his last year as a "kid" I'm incredibly thankful that he has these traits.  There are many of us adults who are still working on this.  I'll be honest, I am completely envious of him in this regard.

He's adapted so well to some major changes this year, including his second year of public school, his first year in a regional school, the addition of some crazy puppies to our house (some who stayed and some who visited), and a new schedule.  He's become a more caring brother to Nate and Sydney and has really started to assume this new role of "Tour Guide/Adviser" with Nate to help him through school situations. He will actually play with Sydney, which I find 1) Adorable and B) Impressive because it's slightly unusual for a tween to hang out with a kindergartner.  But he does it when she asks (sometimes), he reads to her, and he makes her laugh.  It's been a great year watching him grow into himself more and more.  I'm so proud of him, so amused by him, so challenged by him, so thankful for him, and most of all so infinitely grateful to be his mother. Thank you Ben, for being you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Tunes - Cover It Up!

I've been listening to a lot of cover songs lately.  No particular reason, except for the damn playlist on Spotify that has hijacked my ears.  Such a good problem to have!  I'm sharing some of my recent favorites, and some all time bests too.  Covers are a nice reminder of how things that we thought we knew can surprise us in wonderful ways.  Sometimes we forget that what we thought was overplayed, old, or maybe a bit tired can be refreshed and brought back to life when looked at with a new perspective. Enjoy!

Romeo & Juliet - Dire Straits/Indigo Girls

One of my all time favorite songs.  The first time I heard it was the cover by the Indigo Girls though, and for years I thought that they had written it.  Then I bought a little soundtrack to the movie 200 Cigarettes and suddenly heard Mark Knopfler's familiar voice singing about the tragic couple.  I fully admit to mocking people who didn't realize that a cover was a cover, until it happened to me.  Lesson learned.  Amy Ray's version is so powerful, so full of conviction it's hard to believe that the song isn't hers.  She owns every note, every word of it.

XO - Beyonce/John Mayer
Do I have to explain?  As if XO wasn't already a super sweet, sappy, fun, love song, then freaking John Mayer waltzes in with his broody guitar, a harmonica and pouting big lips and kills it a second time, in a totally different way.  

Cry Me A River - Justin Timberlake/Chvrches
I am fully and admittedly obsessed with Chvrches.  They are an incredible talent, they're Scottish (yay!), and I love them.  

Where Is My Mind? - Pixies/Trampled by Turtles
Pixies.  No explanation needed. It's the mother effing Pixies!  But what's exceptional about this song, is the cover.  Trampled by Turtles have somehow managed to merge their distinct folk/country/bluegrass sound with the punk rock of the Pixies, making the song both recognizable and unique at the same time.  

Fade Into You - Mazzy Star/Ben Harper
In the late nineties this song was likely played on repeat in the bedroom of every teenage girl post break-up.  Every time I hear it I am instantly transported to my teenage years, and my brief stint in college.  There's something ethereal and unnerving about this song.  It's a combination of the words and melody here, they both pull at something just below the surface.  It's as if you're watching a sad goodbye take place in front of you on a rainy street, but then it shifts somewhere and you find it becomes your story, your song.  Ben Harper makes this song grow up.  It's no longer a whiny teenager, it's a grown man grieving his loss, and it breaks your heart.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Thirty Things My Kids Should Know About Me (and you can too)

In my attempt to find a great writing prompt this morning I stumbled across this post from Jennifer Borget on her blog, Baby Making Machine.  It totally pulled me in and brought up an issue that's been rolling around in my mind a lot lately, "Who I Am! Who Am I?" 

With all three kids in school now I have time for myself on a regular basis for the first time in almost twelve years. That's a big deal.  It's also a tremendous opportunity.  It's a welcome chance to get back to doing things that I really enjoy, things that bring me happiness and also remind me of who I was before I had kids, and who I'd like to be.  Of course being a mother is a large piece of my identity, and I feel very, very blessed to be the mom to my three kiddos.  But, I'm also my own person and it's important to me that the kids know that, and they are able to see me as more than just the lady that takes care of them, but also as a complete person. Being a complete person includes all of the good and bad, the pitfalls of life, the elation of successes and everything in between.  After all, I want them to grow up to be happy, well-adjusted, adults and as their parent, I'm their primary example of what an adult is.  

Then along comes this writing exercise, perfectly timed to get me reacquainted with myself and share my interests, my humor, my embarrassments, my whole person with my kids.  And I'm letting readers in on the fun in the hopes that it'll prompt you to do the same sharing with your family.  You can share anything that you think is relevant.  You could make the entire list about your experiences in school, as a kid, thirty things you did/do well, thirty things that were hard for you, thirty things you want to do...the possibilities are pretty endless.

1. When I was a teenager I wanted to live in California when I was an adult.
2. I'm scared of porcelain dolls.
3. I had an imaginary friend until I was eight.
4. I really like White Pizza.
5. I used to have long hair.
6. I played Tennis in high school.
7. When I was nine I slammed my thumb in a sliding cooler door at a store and screamed so loud the whole store heard me.  It was embarrassing, and painful.
8. I'm good at catching frogs.
9. I wanted to be a marine biologist until I was 15.
10. I wanted to become a creative writer.
11. I wanted a younger brother or sister for a long time.
12. I like physical comedy.
13. I have trouble whistling.
14. I've never knit anything for myself.
15. I could not understand high school chemistry (or any chemistry).
16. My first dog was named Reddy.
17. I've been deep sea fishing.
18. I love my name.
19. I'd like to go to a Yoga retreat.
20. Burritos are my favorite food.
21. I'd like to go camping in Acadia National Park (with my family)
22. I wish that every day, everyone had to stop what they were doing and read for an hour.  
23. I used to smoke (YUCK!)
24. I never thought I'd own my own house.
25. I used to do a lot of work with my hometown theater, including stage managing and directing.
26. I stink at acting.
27. I would like to learn how to play an instrument.
28. I'd like to spend a whole day at the Boston Public Library.
29. I think being a Librarian would be my dream job.
30. My favorite number is 12. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Get Your 'Read' On!

It's January in Maine, and it's proving to be a VERY cold one.  Temperatures have been below zero more often than above it lately.  Needless to say, we're not outside unless we have to be right now. Which is a little sad, since I know the kids would really love to go sledding.  Trick with that is we need snow that's more than a few inches deep and without the ice skating rink underneath it in case we go flying off of our sleds.  Which some of us in this family are known to do. So, we're keeping ourselves amused with indoor activities, and one of my favorites is reading.  I've been to the library twice this week already, and it's only Thursday.  I'm also thoroughly in love with my Kindle Fire and the ability to get eBooks from the Maine Download Library in an instant.  Anyone with a public library card from your local library can access this site.  NH has one too, so there's really no excuse to go without a book.  Even when the temperature makes the prospect of leaving your house seem like crossing the Alaskan tundra.

So here's what I'm reading right now.  I'll do my best to come back with yays or nays when I'm done, but I will say that I'm at least a third of the way through each of these and I'm enjoying them all so far.  Get a cup of tea or cocoa or coffee, grab a book, sit in front of the fire and enjoy the forced hibernation we're experiencing.  

“Suburbia is about to get a lot more scandalous.”  —Closer Weekly  

 “A novel that will turn you into a compulsive book-finisher…Moriarty has produced another gripping, satirical hit.”
Huffington Post

Big Little Lies tolls a warning bell about the big little lies we tell in order to survive. It takes a powerful stand against domestic violence even as it makes us laugh at the adults whose silly costume party seems more reminiscent of a middle-school dance.”—The Washington Post

"Bradbury, all charged up, drunk on life, joyous with writing, puts together nine past essays on writing and creativity and discharges every ounce of zest and gusto in him." -Kirkus Reviews

"In order to practice Buddhism, you have to first know about the mind," begins this labyrinthine journey that is ostensibly aimed at all people, not just Buddhist practitioners.  -Publishers Weekly

"A novel to live in, learn from, and feel bereft over when the last page is turned, Doerr’s magnificently drawn story seems at once spacious and tightly composed." -Booklist

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday Tunes - The Blog Is Not Dead

So, since the blog has been inactive for a while (cough *months* cough) I've decided to bring it back on a Tuesday Tunes edition with some NEW music.  Hoping to get things restarted here and maybe some new tunes will help encourage that, of course new material on the blog might help encourage me to keep writing too.  Here's hoping and trying!

Avenger - The Bamboos 

One Of The Guys - Jenny Lewis

Drive In Movies - Ray LaMontagne


Wild Animals - Trampled By Turtles

I Don't Know You Anymore - Bob Mould