Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Have you ever been sitting quietly and suddenly a song you didn’t even know you knew popped into your head?  Today, I was sitting quietly, reading and in popped, “All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey…”  Okay, I don’t even know the title of this song, but think it was by The Mamas and The Papas.   If this had been 30 years ago, I’d have to ask someone what those words go to.  Now, with the very fast help of Google, I find that I’m “California Dreamin” and can listen to/watch the Youtube video AND find all the lyrics and even order a copy to be downloaded as an MP3.  Wow!

For some reason, no matter the time of year, I will be driving down Loop 1604, heading for work or back home and I will suddenly start singing, “Sleigh bells ring, are you listening, in the lane snow is glistening, a beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland.”  What???  That’s a Christmas song.  Oh, yeah…Christmas in July…August…April.  No matter what time of year, I guess I love me some Winter Wonderland.  Maybe it’s my rebellion against the almost continuous heat of South Texas.

Years ago, I heard someone call this phenomenon of songs sticking in your head “earworms”. Horrid thought. But fitting. They don’t go away and are so annoying! I think it is even worse when someone knows you hate a particular song and remind you of it, so it’s stuck in your head all day. It was like that with the awful Barney song. You know…”I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family…”. UGH!! STOP!!!!!!!! Make it go away!

So, what song do you hate to have as an “earworm”? And are there any songs that seem to recur at the strangest times?

“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.”~ Unknown


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Sometimes I find myself singing the same song or commercial jingle all day long. A friend of mine calls those earworms. They can drive a person crazy or give you such an uplifting feeling (depending on the song or jingle). Recently, on Facebook, I posted a part of a jingle from an old commercial and someone told me she couldn’t get it out of her head and wasn’t too thrilled. I felt bad…I remember the time I kept singing the same song all day long…and it was one I hated. You know the one…from that annoying purple dinosaur that all the children loved so much a few years back?!  What earworms drive you nuts? 

Another unpleasant sound is traffic noise.  I know.  I live in a very large city and spend a lot of time on the road during rush hour.  You’d think it would fade into the background.  Instead, I can hear distinct differences between all of the cars that go by or those idling near me as we creep along.  That’s with the windows up.  So, I try not to add to the grating on the ol’ eardrums by adding to the noise with the radio.  I choose to listen to the radio when the traffic is almost non-existent.  Maybe I just can’t handle the sound overload.  I’m not sure of my reasoning, but I’ve come to enjoy the relative quiet of driving with the radio or CD player off.

And then the other noise that sends me nearly over the edge…a dry pen, scratching across paper.  My skin crawls…almost as much as fingernails across the chalkboard.  Those two sounds can almost bring me to my knees. 

What bugs you?

“In antiquity there was only silence. In the nineteenth century, with the invention of the machine, Noise was born. Today, Noise triumphs and reigns supreme over the sensibility of men.” ~ Luigi Russolo


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There are people in our past who made such a huge impact on us that we will never be the same after having met them or having an event take place that was precipitated by something they did or said.   Sometimes, these people cause what Oprah calls “Aha moments” or sometimes their actions created such an incredibly high point or low point for us that they stand out.  And sometimes it was just a feeling we had about that person or an emotion or idea that filled us up in an almost consuming way.  Every once in a while, I look back on the last 50 years and think about those people.  Each left a mark on me.  The earliest recollection of someone who had such an impact was my first grade teacher.  Sadly, I can’t remember her name, but even if I did, I wouldn’t have included it.  I was frightened of her.  She was one of those teachers who pushed and pushed students to excel.  I tried my hardest always and never felt good enough.  I did learn a lot from her, but at that young age, it was a little hard to cope with.  Maybe THAT is why I don’t remember her name.  And I did gain a certain determination to excel.  She also gave me a solid foundation in reading skills that have impacted my entire life.  I love to read. 

Another person who had such an impact was my fifth grade teacher, Miss Blumquist.  She, however, was very positive in her dealings with students.  She very carefully taught me to hold my hand, wrist, and pen in a mirror image of right-handed people when writing.  She didn’t want me to curve my wrist around or turn the paper sideways.  Most people don’t even realize I’m left-handed when they watch me write.  She cared deeply that her students were successful in so many ways, but the little things she did also helped us.  And I wanted to be just like her. It was then, in fifth grade, that I decided I wanted to be a teacher.  And I was.  I hope there is at least one student out there who feels like I made a positive difference in his or her life. 

In high school, I belonged to a youth group at church.  The man who lead the group was an officer in the Army, had a family of his own and his own life to lead.  But he gave so much time to the dozens and dozens of young people who belonged to that youth group.  He inspired us to be giving of our time and to care about others.  So, Col. Hammond is another person who touched my life…and I will never be the same.

While I was in college, I met so many people of different backgrounds.  Each one of those people had a hand in teaching me who I am.  I was lucky enough to have a professor who didn’t put up with my procrastinations, didn’t want to hear any excuses…he wanted me to be successful.  And not long before I graduated, he told me I reminded him of his daughter.  It explained a lot of why I felt he was always pushing me harder to be a better person and a better teacher.  I found myself doing the same thing to my students…wanting them to be successful.  No excuses. Thank you to Dr. Downing!

The man who killed my father also has had a huge impact on me, but in more subtle ways than the obviously enormous way that comes from losing a loved parent to a violent, uncalled-for death.  He taught me to stand up for my rights.  He taught me persistence.  He taught me that eventually good does win out.  He taught me to cherish every day, because we never know how long we have with those we love.  I will not list his name, because he doesn’t deserve to be publicized.  He deserved to die in prison for what he did.  And he finally died last year without receiving the parole he requested.  I never gave up fighting those requests.  And my persistence paid off.  Good won out.

My students changed my life.  Some in very positive ways and some in negative ways, but each one had an impact on who I became.  I do remember some more than others, but I taught approximately 1500 students while I was a teacher.  Mike, Shannon, Amy, Sally, Matt and Mike (the twins), Lisa, Tara, Shay and Laine…the list goes on and on.  They are special people.  I hope I taught them even half of what they taught me.

Friends through my life have taught me loyalty, understanding, the need to have friends even when one is married (a spouse cannot be everything to you, no matter how loving and caring he is).  My friends have been there for me when I needed a different perspective.   They have taught me that my creative side needs an outlet…And I need an outlet for fun with the girls.  My dear, sweet hubby doesn’t like to paint pottery, scrapbook or watch chick-flicks.  They do.  And I appreciate them for that and so many other things.  Without them, I would never be the same.

I look back on someone I knew in high school.  Missy Etheridge.  She was Missy back then.  Now she’s Melissa.  And she taught me to reach for my dreams.  Never give up.  And to be who I am.  No apologies.  No regrets.  And for all of that, I will never be the same.  Her music was her dream.  Like I dreamed of being a teacher.  She reached her goal and so did I.  And we both have lived our lives in the way we chose to.  I hope for her a fearless love.  I have mine in my wonderful Beau.         

“I Will Never Be The Same”

So you walked with me for a while
Bared your naked soul
And you told me of your plan
How you would never let them know
In the morning of the night
You cried a long lost child
And I tried oh I tried to hold you
But you were young
And you were wild

But I, I will never be the same
Oh I, I will never be the same
Caught in your eyes
Lost in your name
I will never be the same

Secrets of your life
I never wanted for myself
But you guarded them like a lie
Placed upon the highest shelf
In the morning of the night
When I woke to find you gone
I knew your distant devil
Must be draggin’ you along

But I, I will never be the same
Oh I, I will never be the same
Caught in your eyes
Lost in your name
I will never be the same

And you swore that you were bound for glory
And for wanting you had no shame
But I loved you
And then I lost you
And I will never be the same

But I, I will never be the same
Oh I, I will never be the same
Caught in your eyes
Lost in your name
I will never be the same

~ Melissa Etheridge

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I think that would be my name if I was part of the Spice Girls.  At least, that is what my dear hubby says.  Just like allspice, I may be from one Berry (my mother’s nickname), but I am a combination of several flavors!  🙂  Yes, I am a little spicy, a little sweet, and can’t really be defined by a single concept. Unlike Posh Spice, I am not a fashion plate.  I am not (usually) Scary Spice, although I do love Halloween.  I am DEFINITELY not Sporty Spice (unless you count watching the Spurs and the Olympic skaters and gymnasts).  I’m not Ginger Spice…it is just too strong a flavor and not my favorite color family, either!  And I am by no means Baby Spice, since I’m fast approaching that half-century mark in age. 

But I do like the fact that I could be Allspice!  After all, I love to sing, I love to cook and there are days I feel like a shriveled, dried up berry that has been put through the grinder.  But, PLEASE, do not confuse me with Old Spice.  Come to think of it, that would be my hubby.  After all, he’s almost two whole years older than me.

And on this Saturday, we are relaxing, laughing and being nonsensical.

“To appreciate nonsense requires a serious interest in life.” ~ Burgess (Frank) Gelett 

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Michael Jackson died today and, no matter what he did in his personal life, he left a legacy of amazing music that can only be compared with the careers of Elvis and the Beatles.  Michael Jackson could entertain and reinvent himself over and over to create an excitement in music that spanned cultures and races.  And for that, if nothing else, he will be remembered. 

Michael, this is the end of your life, but not the end of your impact on music and entertainment.

*Quoted – lyrics from “Thriller”

There Must Be More To Life Than This” ~ An unreleased duet with Freddie Mercury. 

“There must be more to life than this
There must be more to life than this
How do we cope in a world without love
Mending all those broken hearts
And tending to those crying faces
There must be more to life than living
There must be more than meets the eye
Why should it be just a case of black or white
There must be more to life than this

Why is this world so full of hate
People dying everywhere
And we destroy what we create
People fighting for human rights
But we just go on saying c’est la vie
So this is life

There must be more to life than killing
A better way for us to survive
What good is life, if in the end we all must die
There must be more to life than this

There must be more to life than this
There must be more to life than this
I live and hope for a world filled with love
Then we can all just live in peace
There must be more to life, much more to life
There must be more to life, more to life than this.”

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As we go through life, so many memories fade until they are just a whisper, a faint tug in the recesses of our minds. But there are some events that stand out, details recalled even after decades have gone by–completely unforgettable. These are the events that shape us. I can still distinctly remember seeing the Cliffs of Dover as we traveled on the ferry from Calais to Dover. It was when I was about 6 or 7 years old. But it had such an impact on me, I wrote a poem about it years later. And that poem earned me an A+. But that didn’t mean as much as reading it even years later and still being able to visualize those cliffs. A couple of years ago, I again crossed the English Channel and saw the cliffs and felt swept back in time to that same trip as a little girl and the awe I felt. It was like coming home after a long journey. Not only was it unforgettable, but it felt like it was truly a part of me.

I remember the day I met my husband. I was 16 and had gone to a Friday night basketball game at the high school and he was there, in the band. A girl in my German class was also in band and, after the game, I ran into her. She asked if I’d like to go to Pizza Hut, so I went. And that’s where I met him, as I sat down next to him at a table full of students. The following Monday, he came by one of my classes and asked me to go to a dance with him…not just any dance, but THE dance…the ROTC Ball and he was the Brigade Commander! I was thrilled that he asked me, and I didn’t even know he WAS the Brigade Commander. I still remember the first song we danced to. Even years later, after we had gone to separate colleges, he’d moved away and I had moved a few times, I would still tell people that he was the nicest guy I ever dated. I would catch myself, in college, comparing the guys I dated to him. He had a profound impact on my expectations. And twenty-five years later, I found him again, and fell for him again, because he was unforgettable.

Again, when I was in high school, I sang a solo at church and a family friend commented that I should be in the local Junior Miss pageant. I’d never had much confidence in my singing, but was flattered. So, without my parents knowing, I filled out the paperwork and entered the pageant. And from there, my love of performing began. I can remember what I sang and the feeling I had as the curtain closed. And I’ve been performing ever since…community theatre, college theatre, church choir, the National Anthem for sporting events, weddings, funerals, talent competitions, karaoke…the list goes on. And all because one person gave me the confidence to give it a try. She is unforgettable, because she gave me such joy in my life.

The day my father was buried is permanently etched in my mind.

The teacher who made me realize I wanted to be a teacher, too. Miss Blumquist. Fifth grade at Oakington Elementary School. She was everything I wanted to be.

The teacher who made my life a living hell…who made me work harder than I’ve ever worked before or since and who made me realize I could do anything I set my mind to…Mr. Lockhart, seventh grade English at Patton. I hated him at the time and now respect him more than any other teacher I had. He had high expectations and made me want to meet them and then exceed them.

A student who made average grades and hated math, yet nominated me for Educator of the Year. Another student who was so incredibly smart and gifted. And a student who caused problems for teachers, intimidated them and yet sought me as a mentor. These faces live in my memory.

The young soldiers I met while I lived in Germany…their young faces and love of life are unforgettable. And whenever I hear of another soldier who has been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, I cry. It could be one of them or someone else just as young and who was just as full of life.

We are who we are because of the people we meet along the way and the places that feel so much a part of us that it feels as if we must have lived there in another life.

“Unforgettable, that’s what you are
Unforgettable though near or far…” ~ words and music by Irving Gordon

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Bed & Breakfast - balcony

Saturday morning, we woke and got ready for the day of shopping and sight-seeing. But first, BREAKFAST! The man and wife who own the B&B make an amazing feast of a breakfast. They served granola and fresh berries for the first course along with coffee, tea and OJ. Then came the hot breakfast. We had raspberry ricotta pancakes, muffins and omelet roll. More OJ, coffee and tea. It was awesome!! Then we were off to shop. We went to 6th Street and visited all the cute, trendy little shops and antique stores. Of course, the prices matched the trendy area! We also visited the Treaty Oak, an extremely old oak tree that has an amazing history. Treaty Oak Info

Our next stop was a Farmer’s Market that was just off of 6th Street and Congress. Next, we made a visit to SoCo and all the shops there (SoCo is short for South Congress). SoCo Info

After SoCo, we went to lunch at Dirty Martin’s (or Dirty’s as the locals call it) for burgers. Then we stopped at Central Market (a great, HUGE gourmet grocery) and the shops near there. We also got chair massages at Central Market. It was so relaxing. They were also doing a food tasting for all the Christmas items, so we ate ourselves silly and sampled some wine and champagne. Mmmm! After that, we shopped some more. By the time we were finished, it was almost 7pm. We weren’t hungry for a full dinner, so we went back to Central Market where a band called the Eggmen were playing all our Beatles favorites on the outside patio. We listened for a while and then went in and grabbed some bread and cheese, some chocolates and grapes and headed back to the B&B for more wine, our snacks and a lot of talking (into the night). Wrapped up in our blankets and snuggled into our comfy chairs, we had a great time. There was a party going on across the street at the house on the corner and we watched them have great fun until the Texas Longhorns lost the football game. That brought the energy level down a few notches! But not for us!! We were having a good time!

Bedtime was after midnight and I slept like the dead!

“Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.” ~ Virginia Woolf

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