Friday, December 28, 2012

End of the Year Check List

At the beginning of this year, I posted some New Years Goals.  Here's my year end review of how they went!
Goal #1: Get Healthier
I worked really hard on this.  I started making smaller amounts of food, so I wouldn't have as much excess.  I started buying healthier foods.  I started a Healthy Eating Support Group on Facebook.  I still have a few things I need to focus on and work on in this category, but I've got a huge start.

Goal #2: Work on things for my choir!
My choir, the Indy Adult Show Choir has almost made it to it's fourth year in existence!  In May, we had one of our most complicated shows to date, From Africa to the Islands.  We also had a Summer Pop Show, Christmas Show, and two other Public performances! 
This year, we became an official non-profit organization, thanks to Melanie.  In the next month or two, we will become tax exempt!   It's been a big year for my choir!

Goal #3: Get my financial situation under control!
In two months, one of my credit cards, my one that has been my biggest issue and pain in my life, will be paid off!  WOOOHOOO!!!!  After that, I'll start paying down my other card.  I'm starting to get closer with the financial situation under control. 

I'm going to have too work on my New Years Goals for next year.  These three that I had for this year will keep going, but I might add too the list!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas... exhaustion...

Feeling a little down today, and honestly, I have been down since Friday.  I'm over the Holiday Season.  It's not my favorite time of year.  It never has been. I've always hated Christmas music, and there are other reasons that I hate this time of year.
Yesterday was especially bad.   I had to call an ambulance for my dad and admit him to the hospital.  I've been in my pj's all day, but now, I have to shower, get dressed, and pretend all is well for Ian's family. I'm a little sick of putting on my game face lately. 
And we need to do all of this and get back home before the forecasted blizzard starts... oh yeah.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Church Clothing Discussion: Is it really about Sunday best?

Here's a few comments I made on the wearing pants to church Facebook page. 
I've seen young men turned away from serving the Sacrament in my ward due to the color of shirt they were wearing. I saw a young man say, "Is it okay if I serve Sacrament?" and the Bishop told him to go find someone else to do it. He was wearing a dark purple button up shirt and a tie. It was gorgeous, and he looked very nice, yet he wasn't allowed to serve. (Those shirt and tie sets were all the rage last Christmas, and probably still are this year!) Anyway, this is just a random comment.
I do feel like there is plenty of sexism in my Ward, even with my calling, which I just resigned. I will be wearing pants this Sunday.

This was a response to a post:
I do feel like, as Michelle said, we should be understanding and gentle to anyone's feelings that do feel closer to the lord through attire, if that is what makes them happy!
When I was in a YSA branch, a young woman wore a lower cut shirt and a skirt. She was a less active member. I thought she looked fine or even really nice that day. The branch President walked over right before Sacrament started in whispered in her ear. She instantly started crying! This wasn't over pants, but a shirt. I don't remember if she came back after that. I think she decided to go to the family ward instead. I was really upset for her that day, but I thought that branch President wasn't very tactful anyway! Many of the women of the branch were immediately by her side to comfort her! Why was that "OK" for the branch President to do that? I don't think it was!

I do feel like woman are treated completely different in the LDS church.  Some women bring it on them selves.  To get the comment from a fellow sister, "Oh, that's sad!  You're not married!  You don't get to have the Priest Hood in your home!"  Seriously?!  Just because I chose to go to college, get a degree, and start a career, you think it's ok to say that?  It's very condescending!
One person said to me, in a very condescending way, "My life is going so perfect!  I'm getting married in the temple!  I know it's only been three months, but this is what I prayed for!  Not that your relationship isn't good..." At 24 years old, they've been married for a year, and now, are getting divorced.  Maybe she was ignorant in how hurtful that comment was, but she wouldn't have put the disclaimer at the end if she didn't.  
I've been with my boyfriend for over two and a half years.  We met online. He is not a member of the church.  I'm perfectly ok with that.  
A man moved into my ward that is an AMAZING organist.  Being the music chair, I requested of the Bishop that he would receive a music calling.  I was told, that all of the Sunday School positions would have to be filled first, before he would get a music calling!  
I felt that sexism was involved.  I even mentioned this to other people, and I was told that, Priest Hood positions have too be filled first! 
I wore pants to church today in honor of all of those women who have received these comments.  Educated women that have started careers and not rushed into marriage.  
It's not just about attire.  I don't want the Priest Hood.  I'm just sick of women being treated like second class citizens!  I did see another sister, maybe even two today that also wore pants.  Good for them.  Maybe I start wearing them more often!  The Winters in Indiana sure are cold!

Friday, December 14, 2012

What's wrong with Socialism?

Seriously? And I mean this in the most innocent way possible.
Do you attend a church?  I do.  And this was the story told with a talk a couple weeks ago:
A city in Mexico (or South America somewhere) had a drought, but most of them were prepared with extra provisions from the year before.  All except one family.  For some reason, this family was not prepared.  So, what happened?  The church family, or church members provided for that family, making sure that they had enough to eat to make it through the coming months.
Isn't this Socialism?  Isn't this what most churches teach?  The church family will provide.  That body of people will make sure that the family without provisions is able to survive in a time in need.
If you are a believer and attend church on a regular basis, do you believe in Socialism?  Why or why not?
You can say, "Well, they were full tithe payers, so, they deserve the help!"  But that isn't always true.  I know a lot of churches out there that help anyone, member or not, tithe payers or not.
I'm starting to lean to a Socialist society.  I know people abuse the system. A LOT OF PEOPLE.  But I mean the people that aren't.  The ones that need insurance.  The ones that need food and clothing.
I know the difference. After a stint of working at Walmart in college, I could tell the difference between a family that was really trying to get by, and the Hautian (a person from Terre Haute, IN) screaming at me, because the beer and cigarettes were not covered by the state debit card.
There are also people that don't only abuse the system, but abuse church programs that help families out.  I knew a family when I was in elementary school, that had the children join the LDS church.  That way, they could receive food from the Bishop's Storehouse to help them out.  That arrangement didn't last long, but it happened. I'm sure it's not the first or last time either.  
If you're a believer or a Christian, are you for or against socialism and why? 

Monday, December 3, 2012

When Ugly Shoes Happen to Good Women

I saw woman wearing a pair of Clarks today that are a Mary Jane style.  She is probably in her later 40's.  These were black shoes, and she was wearing bright red socks with them!  This woman is long and lean. She's beautiful!  She's successful!  She wearing shoes that aren't age appropriate!
Clarks are some of the most comfortable professional shoes on the market.  I wear them too!  I just hate when adults wear Mary Janes!  Very few woman have the right style to pull them off.
I know this comes from years of trying to find comfortable shoes in the 4,5,6 women's sizes that don't look too childish.  Mary Janes are made for four year olds. Now, if you're wearing a cute skirt with your Mary Janes, and cute tights or something, maybe you can pull that off and not look like your trying to relive your childhood style. I am not one of those women.
 There are other shoes that are out there that scream, "These shoes are really not for older women!"  For instance, I found some "boots with the fur" last week.  They are to replace a pair of boots I've been wearing for five years.  I do worry that someone might find they are not age appropriate for me, or they make me look like I'm trying to be a teenager again. 
I've bought shoes at the store, and then, worn them once and realized, "These look way too young for me!"  I have too be really careful to not do that!  I don't make rash decisions about shoes like I used too!
I feel for women right now.  A lot of the styles of shoes that are out right now are lackluster. It's almost embarrassing to see what the shoe industry thinks we should be wearing these days!
Dear Women buying shoes:
Take a stand against ugly shoes!  Don't let shoe companies push them on you!  Tell shoe companies, We want stylish AND comfortable!  Don't let companies like Crocs and Toms push their styles on you.  Only three year olds and teenagers can get away with wearing those shoes! Women should feel beautiful in their shoes! 

*This is my opinion. If you don't agree, I'm ok with that.  We can still be friends and not agree on everything!  

Friday, November 30, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 30

Day 30:  I'm glad I've been able to blog for the 30 days of thankfulness!  I'm happy to have the knowledge to write, to use a blog, to use a computer that have made this possible!  This month was NamoWrimo month, or try to blog every day this month.  I didn't want to write 50,000 words, but I did blog every day this month.  (If you missed any days, please feel free to go back on my blog and read them all!) I may not blog for a week or two after this on this blog, but I'll still have my weekly food blog every Thursday.  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day29

Day 29: I'm thankful for the creative genius of Joss Whedon. I fell in love with "Buffy the vampire Slayer" at a time when I was lonely and needed entertainment.  I borrowed all of the Seasons of DVD's from a friend. I watched the entire series and knitted blankets for friends.  Then, I borrowed the episodes of "Angel" up to that point.  The series was starting it's last season on air. Then, I borrowed Firefly.  Pure Awesomeness!  It should have never been cancelled!
I find Joss Whedon's writings and creations so imaginative!  I can't wait to see what he comes out with next!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 28

 Day 28:  I'm thankful for stores, like the Gap, that sell pants that fit me!  I am 4'10'', and finding pants that are the right length is an extreme pain!  (I know, just go get them hemmed!)  It saves me a lot of time and hassle not to have to do that.  I'm really appreciative for companies like the Gap Inc. (Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic) that sell the Cropped length of pants.  Usually in Fall and Spring, I make trips to these stores just for this reason.  Most stores, even the Petite sizes are about 6 inches too long.  I end up buying four pairs a year from the Gap, and wear them all year long, until they fall apart!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 27

Day 27: I'm thankful for my new car!  In August, Ian and I bought a brand new Hyandai Elantra.  I love it!  It doesn't die.  The breaks haven't failed.  The tires haven't gone flat.  It has a LIFETIME warranty!  Basically.  The warranty is for 20 years or 200,000 miles!  *That's the Lifetime of the car!  We plan to drive this car until it just falls apart!  I'm so happy that we are able to do this.  We are going to have to cut some other things out of our budget, but I have a car that's safe to drive.

Monday, November 26, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 26

Day 26:  I'm grateful for awesome authors!  I may enjoy popular literature, like "Harry Potter," "Twilight," and "The Hunger Games" series, but they were all fun to read!  I want to thank J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, and Suzanne Collins for writing entertaining books for me to read!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 25

Day 25:  I'm thankful for great singing divas of the 80's and 90's.  They probably saved my life more than once.  I have this memory of buying Mariah Carey's debut album in 1990.  I listened to that album on repeat until I had every single word, note, and run memorized!  I'm pretty sure it drove my parents crazy!  In 1989, Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation: 1814" was the album I listened to on repeat. 
These albums and artists came into my life when Grunge music was becoming the thing to listen too.  I hated grunge music.  I love to be able to sing along to the music!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 24

Day 24:  I'm grateful for my hair stylist, Dustin at Dream Weaver.  He's amazing!  He's truly an artist!  I saw him yesterday, and he did great things.  I recommend him to everyone.  He makes me look and feel great!
My New Hair Style

Friday, November 23, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 23, Black Friday

Day 23:  I'm thankful for Black Friday.  I know this sounds like crazy talk, but it's of the biggest days of the year that keeps our economy going.  Every year, even when I say I'm not going to, I end up shopping on this day! 
Maybe this year, I'll do something different, like go to the Indianapolis Children's Museum.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 22, Happy Thanksgiving

Day 22: Today is FULL of Thankfulness!  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I'm thankful today for friends, family, and food!  I'm so happy that my friends and family will be able to celebrate together today.  I'm thankful that we are able to afford the turkey with all of the fixin's.  Turkey is one of my favorite foods!  I'm grateful that Ian and I are able to travel this year and see everyone.  This may not always be the case, but this year, we still can.
Well we did what I call the "Indiana World Tour."  That is: Wednesday, we visited my parents at two different nursing homes, down the street from each other in West Lafayette.  Thursday morning, we started in Indianapolis, and then, ended up in Bloomington for lunch.  We'll then ended in the Shelbyville/St. Paul, Indiana area to visit Ian's family!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 21

Day 21: I am thankful for the Indianapolis Children's Museum. I just bought a year membership, so, I can go all the time!
When I was 12 years old, my parents bought a "Grandparents Membership."  This included memberships for them and all of there grandchildren.  They counted me as a grandchild and got cards for the 11 or 12 grandchildren that were in existence at that time.  Every time we went to Riley Hospital for a check up, I could bring a friend.  After the check up, we would go to the Children's Museum and spend the rest of the day.
My nieces and nephews did actually get to go with us one time that year.  That was a lot of fun! 
The Children's Museum still holds great memories for me!  I can't wait to make more of them this year!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 20

Day 20: I'm thankful for Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites.  They keep me in touch with friends and family near and far.  My mother, who is 79 years old, even uses Facebook!  I get to hear from my Sister in Law in that's in Chili right now.  I get to see pictures of my nieces and nephews, and great nieces and great nephews! 
This helps us communicate. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 19

Day 19: I am thankful for the movie "Sister Act."  This movie may have saved my life!  I had seen it many times before, but one day, I saw this movie in a double feature package with "Sister Act 2" in the five dollar been at Walmart.  I picked it up and bought it.  I went home and watched this movie.  Every time the nuns started singing with Whoopi as their director, I started tearing up and crying.  I knew that I enjoyed music and directing a choir.  I had been directing the choir off and on in my church branch.  But this music, pop music, was the kind of music I wanted to direct.  I knew I wanted to direct a group that needed music in their lives.  Not that church friends don't need music, but I do think some of them take the opportunity for granted.
The rest is history!  I started the Indy Adult Show Choir, with help from some friends, and my life has been changed for the better.
I love all of the friends I have made through my community choir!  Through my choir, I have a life I enjoy living!
Watching "Sister Act" changed my life and made me realize what I really needed to be doing!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 18

Day 18:  I am thankful for my cats.  My cats have personalities that are so fun to watch! Kassie loves to cuddle.  I walk in the door from work, and she immediately want to be in my arms.  She gives me hugs.  Whiney was born under my bed while I was in college. He was born exactly 5 weeks before my kidney transplant.  He's a bit feisty now at 13, but I still love him! 
I love my cats!  Call me a crazy cat lady if you must, but I wouldn't give them up for anything!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 17

Day 17: I'm thankful for herbs and spices for cooking.  I love garlic, freshly ground black pepper, and chili powder!  I love all sorts of spices! I've already stated that I've love to cook, but most of the experience is how the seasoning makes the dish taste in the end!
My boyfriend tells me that using spices in Indiana is not a big thing.  In the Midwest, seasoning means "Salt and Pepper." He tells me all the time he loves my cooking! 
I'll just say one thing, I rarely use salt.  Salt is not good for the body. Most foods already contain enough salt, so, I try to use all sorts of spices!  I'm so thankful that I can!

Friday, November 16, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 16

Day 16: I'm thankful for nature. If you know me, you know that camping for me is, going to a hotel without a restaurant! I do love looking at nature. Watching animals in their natural habitat. Having bird feeders in my back yard to watch the birds native to Indiana, like Cardinals and Blue Jays. Watching the squirrels try to figure out how to still the feed our of the feeder. I love watching the huge bids of prey that are native to Indiana that fly over the highways. I love observing nature.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 15

Day 15: I'm thankful for home cooked food! I love that I have the knowledge to cook for me and anyone else that wants to eat it! I hate eating out at restaurants like the Cracker Barrel because I can make it better at home. That sounds like I'm bragging or full of myself, but why pay for someone to make that food, when I can make it at home cheaper! I'm thankful for my mom, dad, and sister that always welcome cooking in the home. They taught me so many important life skills.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 14

Day 14: I am thankful for home made hot chocolate! I love a warm comforting cup of hot chocolate! I love it from the little packets, but I really love it when I make it from scratch.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 13

Day 13: I am thankful for shoes.  I love shoes!  So many styles! So many colors!  I love them all!  One day this Summer, I went to five different stores for two different pairs of shoes, that I had decided to buy!  Vera Wang, Mudd, New Balnce, Fergieliscous, Rocket Dog: I love them all! They make the outfit! They make me feel awesome!
I am thankful for shoes!

Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 12

Day 12: I'm thankful for people who work in the service industry, whether that's the person at the restaurant that seats me, makes my food, or serves me my food and then, cleans the table, washes the dishes, or anything else that has to happen at a restaurant.  The person who works in retail that helps me find clothes that fit and then, sells them to me.  The service people the answer the phone every day and make sure my order is correct.
I really appreciate all of the people that do these jobs, because I do them too.  I know these are hard work! Thank you all so much!  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 11, Veterans Day

Day 11: I am thankful for Veterans who fight for my freedoms.  I am free to say what I want.  I am free to Be who I want.  I am free to worship or not worship how I want.  I am free to love who I want.
My family covers every branch of the military.  My dad was in the Navy, my uncle in the Army, my brother was a Marine.  There are so many other family members that I have that were and are still in the military. I appreciate them and every other millatary member that has fought for my freedom. 
Thank you!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 10

Day 10:  I'm thankful for great scented products!  I love Glade, Partylite, and Scentsy so much!  I burn candles all the time.  I currently burning a Glade candle that is apple cinnamon scent, which is amazing! 
I own to cats and love to cook.  The current candle burning is covering up the remnant smell of bacon that was cooked for dinner.

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 9

Day 9: I'm thankful for my family.  No matter how dysfunctional we may seem sometimes, we can usually come together and have a great time!  We can also get things accomplished that need to get done.  That's important.  Sometimes, things just seem too over whelming, but with the help of family, they still get done.
I love them very much!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 8

Day 8: I'm thankful for my phone.  It goes every where I go!  That may sound shallow, but it's very important me me!
I have this memory of being in Drama class in high school, and my drama teacher saying, "Everyone will have their own phone.  We will be able to get in touch with every one all the time!  It will just be in their pocket!  This was in the time of brief case phones and Zac Morris from "Saved by the Bell" carrying around a GIGANTIC cell phone, and those things just seemed way expensive!  In these days, it's all possible.
I'm thankful for those inventive creative people, with the knowledge to invent the cell phone.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 7

Day 7:  I'm thankful to live in a country where I can vote.  I am female, and I get to exercise my right to vote!  I voted for Obama.  Thank God for President Obama!  He cares for Healthcare and whether or not I have it! Passing the Lilly Ledbetter Law, I know that I will eventually get to make as much at my job as my male counterparts.  He thinks that families should get to be families, whether or not there are same sex partners! 
I am so excited!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 6

Day 6 of Thankfulness: I'm thankful to have a job.  I'm glad to work for the company I do.  I get to help people plan out music.  I really love doing that!  I love finding that piece of sheet music that customer was afraid they would never be able to locate.  I love being a specialist in my company for show choir of all things.  I enjoy traveling with my company and meeting the people I get to meet. Most days, I love my job!

Monday, November 5, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 5, Kidney Day

I am thankful for my kidney!  I am grateful that a person in Texas and his/her family decided to donate his/her organs, so, I could live. I am very thankful for medical science and how it saved my life.  The inspired hands of doctors and nurses that took care of me, and still take care of me to this day! I have great love for the staffs of Riley Children's Hospital and I.U. Medical Hospital.
Please, donate your organs.  Have it noted on your drivers license.  Now, in the state of Indiana, that is what they go by completely.  Your family can not contest it! 
Think of all of the lives one person can save by doing this! 
Go Kidney!  13 years, and still going! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 4

Day 4: I'm thankful for my boyfriend!  He's been awesome ever since our first date!  I knew from the moment he finished the camera story, and we thought the same thing, he was the one for me.  He does so much without me even asking, like scraping my car windows in the morning.  He works very hard.  He helps me out with my show choir. He goes along with a lot of my wacky ideas. I love him! I am thankful for every thing he does for me! 
Today is our two year and seven month anniversary!  Happy Anniversary! I love you, Ian!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 3

Day 3 of Thankfulness, I am thankful for teachers.  All of them, past, present, and future, who have influenced my life through the years, not only in music, but a lot of different life subjects!
My high school Psychology teacher, who not only taught us about Psychology, but also taught us the life skills of helping others.  He ran a community service/volunteer group that I will never forget being a part of.
My high school Drama teacher, that took us to plays at Beef 'n Boards in Indianapolis.  He also took us on a trip to New York city, where I saw Broadway shows for the first time in my life!  That is an amazing experience I will never forget!
My music teachers all the way from elementary school through college, that taught me so much about the musical experience.
I'm also thankful for all of the current teachers that work so hard to teach our future!  I hope they never loose hope, no matter what a political party, school board, or group of parents are doing! I know that they work very hard, and I'm grateful for that.

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 2

I am thankful for my show choir!  For a long time, I wanted to perform, direct, choreograph, and use my music talents in this way.
I'm thankful for all of the members, past and present, that have been a part of this amazing experience. You can't have a choir with just one person!  I love them all.
The Indy Adult Show Choir has been one awesome wild ride!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 1

I'm going to try to remember to blog something every day of November that I am thankful for.  I can't promise these won't be material things, because let's face it, some material things are worth being thankful for! But I will try my best to not do too many material things!
Day 1: I am thankful for music.
Music has saved my life on numerous occasions!  It's the reason I function as an adult on a lot of days.  I have a very eclectic taste in music, and  love and appreciate every single on of those styles.
It's the reason I go to work everyday.  I love helping people find the music they love!
It's the reason my mind works and runs the way it does.  I always have a song running through my head. This probably saves me from obsessing about other things that are worth the time obsessing over.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Would you go back to school?

After seeing my friend, Trevor's Graduate Conducting Recital last week, it makes me think, maybe I should go back to school.  He has such an awesome passion for what he's studying!
I never really felt like I had that passion when I was in music school.  I was there just to get a job.  I was a horrible student!
There were a lot of factors behind that, like being told, "Don't do music! You have to get a job with insurance!"  It was actually a bit heart breaking.  So, why even try?  My entire time in college, I was there to just get by, not study something with passion. 
Could I go back to school now with as much passion as Trevor has? He is amazing at directing a choir!
I still don't think I could do it.  Even if I went back to school to study something completely different, like to become a hair stylist or get into cosmetology, I still don't think it would be a possibility.  Some days, I feel like having a passion for something is just gone from me!  This is a bit sad!
Don't get me wrong, I love directing choir's.  It's just, I could never go back to school for music, and feel like I was accomplishing something.  
Maybe this is just part of having that mid-thirties slump in my life. It's not that I'm not generally happy.  I am.  I'm just going through the motions a lot of days.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Purpose of Blogging and Vlogging

A friend started a discussion on Facebook a few months ago by stating this in her status:
"I hate blogs!"
That was it!  That was her entire status.  People were commenting, and one guy even said something to the effect of, "I take offense to that!"
The friend that made the original post finally stated, "It seems that these people are trying to promote themselves in some way!  I don't like that!"  
In this day and age, blogs and vlogs are every where.  They are used to talk about, discuss, and explain anything and everything.  Some are funny. Some are political.  Some are very personal, like a journal or a diary.
Some people are obsessed with reading blogs.  They can have a voyeuristic feel to them. The reader gets this insight into a person's very deepest and sometimes darkest secrets.  The reader feels privy to that person's life.  Maybe the reader shares a thing or two in common with the blogger that creates a bond for them.  A bond that may be one sided, but it's there.  Maybe it's not even a deep dark secret that the reader has in common with the blogger, but things that happen in every day life.  The stay at home mommy blogger that is just trying to survive.  The blogger that has a day job, but masquerades at night as someone completely different.
I personally love reading blogs about people who have struggled and survived!  I live vicariously through that blogger's personal triumph.  And what's awesome about that is, they so wholeheartedly shared their triumph with me.  They may not even know I personally stock their blogs, are as most people call it, follow their blog.
Some people read blogs to find out what's happening with their friends and relatives.  People don't pick up the telephone or send letters as much as they used to.  Remember the old family Christmas Letter every one used to send around the Holidays?  Now, families don't do that as often, because they can just post it to their blog and anyone can read it!  They don't have to spend the money on stamps, pictures, pretty Christmas paper, because most blogs are free.  That saves a lot of families quite a some of money. 
A lot of my family members that live across the country have blogs that I follow.  A lot of them have not been updating very often, or at all lately.  I can't afford to fly across the county to visit them, but I can see pictures of my great nieces and great nephews or other family members just by reading their blogs. Not that I wouldn't love to see my family members and friends that live across the country in person, but this definitely saves me some money.  Plus, I can still feel connected to them.
There are a ton of blogs out there right now that are informative.  There are blogs for crafting, food and recipes, personal finances, to fixing objects, cleaning the house, and all sorts of other things people just want to know.  If a reader needs to fix their refrigerator, they can Google "fix refrigerator" and 100 Youtube videos and blogs will come up of how to do it.  If a person wants to crochet a sweater, again, they can Google "crochet sweater" and it will bring up numerous blogs and vlogs of how to accomplish that!  It's so handy!
I have used craft blogs a few times in my life to get things accomplished.  My biggest problem with knitting for a while was "casting off."  Well, I Googled it, found a blog that showed pictures in how to do it, and finished the blanket I was knitting.  It saved my project from being stuck on my knitting needles forever!  I use a lot of blogs for finding new recipes.  I love to cook!  If I have an idea for a recipe, but don't know how to execute it, I search for a blog on line. I could have had quite a few catastrophic dinners without some of the awesome food and recipe blogs that are out there!
Then, there are humor blogs.  If you don't know what a humor blog is, than, let me enlighten you!  I follow so many of them!  A lot of my favorites are captioned pictures, like Cakewrecks and Award Family Photos.  There are so many others!  The point of these blogs are just to make you laugh.  I can spend hours looking at Ihascheeseburger's lol cats and dogs.  Sometimes, I just need to lighten my mood, and I'll go look at a humor blog for a little bit and walk away smiling.
People or bloggers/vloggers can make money off of their writings and videos.  They include ads on the blogs and vlogs, like I do, in hopes that maybe someone will click on them and make a little money.  Some people live completely off of their blogs and vlogs.  Look at the Shaytards. They are a family that is completely out of doubt due to their vlogs on Youtube. 
There are a lot of Stay at Home Moms that write blogs and do vlogs in hopes they will make money too.  This isn't a bad thing.  It's just one way the world is changing.  People may not read as many books these days, sad as it may be, but they sure are reading things on the internet! Writing blogs and recording vlogs are ways of self publishing.  It's a huge market.  It seems right now, everyone is searching for their little corner of that market.
So, don't blame me if I want just a little piece of that corner.  If my blogs ever take off and start making a profit, it would be awesome to pay off some more debt, or even maybe someday make enough off of them to be a Stay at Home mom. 
I love supporting other bloggers and vloggers that are trying to get started.  It's a community of people that love what they are doing and keep doing what they're doing for that reason. I have friends that write blogs that are book reviews, about countries, and about music and other things.  They all are great writers, and their blog content is worth reading. Go and check them out! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This Week's Ben Folds Five Experience

Last Wednesday, I got to see Ben Folds Five for the first time ever, in concert!  I have seen Ben so many times live, that I have lost count. I had never gotten a chance to see the Five together before Ben went solo.  Well, now they are reunited!  It was awesome!
Here's a quick rundown of the night's events:
My friend Allison was coming to the show from Wisconsin.  She messaged me and said, she still had a pass for VIP parking, because when she got to the Venue, the parking lot wasn't open yet.  So, Ian and I met her at the VIP Valet parking area, she gave us the pass, and we got the car parked.  Then, we decided that we would go to the Subway that was right around the corner. While trying to figure out which corner this really was, a really nice guy came around the corner and said, "Robert Sledge is standing out front!"  We walked around to the front, and he was still there!  Allison started talking to him, and he offered to sign my CD cover, that I randomly picked up as I got out of my car. While he was standing there signing, out walks Darren Jessee, and Ben Folds!  I got to see and meet the whole band in person before the show even started! They all signed my CD cover!
Then, we went to eat at Subway. 
After Subway, we came back to Old National Center/Murat to watch the show.  The seats I had for Ian and me were a couple rows apart.  The guy I sat next to was a huge fan of  Kate Miller-Heidke and her guitarist, Kia.  He wasn't really there to see BFF.  Kate was amazing!  I'd recommend listening to her if you haven't. She was going to sit at the merchandise booth during the break, so, the guy next to me, John, ran out to talk to her.  When he got back from break, he noticed Ian and I were in separate rows, and offered to trade seats with Ian.  (What a nice guy!)
Ian and I watched the show together, and I pretty much rocked out the entire time! BFF played so many awesome songs, and my personal favorite was "Selfless Cold and Composed."
When the show was over, we waited for the band to come out in front of the building.  We had been waiting for a little while and talking to all of the other fans, when I realized, we hadn't gotten the car keys back from the Valet yet.  I sent Ian over, and while he was walking over, I realized the car was sitting directly behind us. I called Ian, and he said, the door was locked where the Valet had been, and there was no one to be found. I walked straight up to the security guard standing there and said, "Is Valet Parking closed?  I haven't gotten my car back yet!"  The ESG guy looked at my and kind of chuckled, and said, "Ya, It's closed."  He was really nice, and proceeded to take me back in the building, so, I could get my keys back.  He did help my find my keys, thankfully!
Then, I went back out, and Robert Sledge came out first.
Robert Sledge and Me
Then, Ben and Darren came out close to the same time.  I ended up talking with Ben first. 
Ben Folds and the Really Nice Fan Guy
They were saying, "NO INDIVIDUAL PICTURES!"  Well, so, my pic with Ben didn't come out!  But this is the guy who informed us before the concert that Robert Sledge was standing out front! I wish I would have gotten his real name!
Then, I talked to Darren Jessee. 
Darren Jessee and Me
Since they had all signed my CD cover for "The Sound of the Life of the Mind" before the concert, I had them all sign my concert ticket. 
This show was an awesome good time!  I wasn't even expecting to get to meet the band and Ben again, and I got to TWICE!  
All in all, I would call it a successful concert going evening!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Migraine Sufferer's Plight

I started getting Migraines when I was about ten or eleven. If you've never suffered a migraine, and believe those lucky people exist, you'll never know the pain, the suffering, the need for it to go away that we feel!  Today, a headache is coming on.  I started with taking an Allegra at lunch thinking that it was related to all of my sinus and allergy issues I have going on.  Then, I moved on an hour after lunch and took two Excedrine Migraine.  An hour after that, I just feel worse.  I took two Contact pills.  Hopefully, something will kick in soon.  If not, I will not be able to do anything after work, but go home and lay in bed.
The sad fact is, when the head ache starts moving in, I'm usually ok. But if I don't start talking medication right away, other symptoms of the migraine move in and take over.  Right now, I'm fighting the slight nausea that's starting in.  The tiny baked potato with butter that I brought for lunch and didn't finish, may have been a bad idea.
I gave up dairy because of my migraines, especially milk.  Drinking a glass of 2% milk is an invitation for a migraine to move right in.  Milk migraines always end up with me vomiting.
I have period migraines.  That's when it's the first day of my period and the migraine moves in.  So, I went on the Deprovera shot and gave up periods, for now.
I'm pretty sure, the migraine moving in today is sinus related.  It's behind my eye and in the bridge of my nose.  These headaches don't always turn into full blown mind numbing pain, lay in the dark, vomiting migraines, but the one that's invited itself is starting to feel that way!
There's a tv show, where a guy died because he was trying to drill the spot out the pain out of his head, his migraine hurt so bad. Not that I would do that, but it really is painful.  I call it the "little man with the drill is drilling inside of my head" or if it's a pounding migraine, he's "hammering inside of my skull." 
I remember laying in bed at about ten, in the dark, watching my robot fan with red light eyes, oscillate back and forth.  I would just lay there willing it away, until I would finally throw up.
I also get pressure headaches. One change in the weather, and I'm out flat.  My co-worker just walked in from out side, and said that it's raining.  After yesterday's amazing weather, this is probably created quite the pressure change!  I read an article once that said, standing out side and trying to get fresh air is a why to subside pressure headaches. Maybe I'll go stand outside for a few minutes.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Current Addiction: Toddlers and Tiaras

Why am I addicted to this reality show?!
The editing is hilarious!  TLC really knows how to edit a show!  Some of these little girls are really talented.  Some of them are really smart. Some of them are taught bad attitudes.  Some of the parents are crazy!  Some of them really do this to spend quality time with their child.  Some of these girls really love being on stage!  And you can tell which ones they are.
There's only been a couple episodes that have really annoyed me.  One was, the girls were fraternal twins, and the mother kept saying one was prettier than the other.  Really?!  The little girl the mom didn't favor, ended up winning director's choice!  She had a better attitude than a lot of the other girls.
One episode, the parents were obsessed with pirates.  Everything the little girl did for pageants was pirate themed.  That dad loved helping his little girl do pageants, and helped her write a song to sing on stage.  That was fun to see!
This show is entertaining to me.  I'll only get to watch the first three seasons, because that's what's available on Amazon Prime.
If only my mom would have put me in pageants as a child...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Allergies have taken over!

My allergies will be the end of me some day!  I am currently suffering from Fall allergies. That means, my vocal chords will not phonate properly. Go me!  That's great, because my choir has a performance on Sunday.  I should be on vocal rest until that performance!  Instead, I'm at work. I have to talk to customers in person and answer the phone.   
My allergies have always been an issue from a very young age.  When I was little, they caused ear infections from the trapped drainage in my tubes.  Then, in college, they would cause major sinus infections that would take months to go away!  This is awful when your major is singing!
Part of it, I'll blame on my self. As soon as Fall hits, I'm supposed to be on a daily routine of Allegra, Sudefed, and Sudefed PE, all on a six hour rotation.  Well, I didn't realize the fall weather was going to hit almost over night!  Plus, now that Allegra is an over the counter drug, it costs more than when I could get it as a prescription.  This really hurts my budget!  I need to bite the bullet and buy it anyway.
So, today, I'm on a rotation of Contact, Wellness Tea, and a Throat Coat formula, (I couldn't find the real stuff last night!) plus, Ludens cough drops.  I'm also not talking unless it's necessary.  Tomorrow, I was supposed to have the day off for an event Saturday.  Now, I'm not going to work that event. I told my boss as soon as he decided I wasn't going, I'm still taking a personal day tomorrow. He was fine with that! (Good!)
So, tomorrow, I'm on strict vocal rest. We have a rehearsal tomorrow.  It's going to be a silent choreography hour! Saturday is going to be a day of vocal rest too! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why I detest Christmas Music.

Being a performer is the reason.
It starts in elementary school.  The Christmas music comes out on September 1st!  It continues all the way through December.  By the time I've been singing it and playing it for four months every year for 34 years of my life, I'm over it!
I was just explaining to my show choir that I try to pick non-traditional songs for our slow songs, because I hate doing the same ones year after year!  That's why I pick things like "Winter Song" by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson and other newer titles that haven't been around forever!
I think I could go a year or two with out singing or hearing a Christmas song, and I would be perfectly ok with it!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Birthday!!!

I don't feel 34 years old at all!  How did I get this old? My life is on a completely different path than I thought it would be when I was eighteen!
I've been to college. I have a job.  I have a boyfriend.  I started a choir.  I have a food/pizza blog I enjoy writing. I have a new opportunity to direct Crooked Creek Baptist's Church Choir.  I had a kidney transplant and am still surviving. I live pretty much pay check to pay check like a lot of people do.  But I'm alive.
I have a feeling, 34 is going to be a big year for me!  I'm going to make it a great year!
Here I go! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Was Jesus Married?

This was on Jimmy Kimmel, written by his outsourced Indian writers:
What did Mary Magdeline text when she got excited?
OMFIL! (Oh My Father in Law!)
I started asking the question, was Jesus married at the very young age of twelve.  I was in a Sunday School Class, and we were discussing how marriage is a commandment of God.  That's when I started asking, if marriage was a commandment, wouldn't Jesus have too be married at some point to be "perfect?"  That's when my Sunday School teacher just stared at me and shrugged his shoulders.  He said, "I can't answer that question." 
There are allegations about the fragment of papyrus that has been found that states, "Jesus said to them, My wife."   That is what got me thinking about this again. 
Remember, these are my own personal thoughts on this.  I'm not writing scripture, nor do I claim to be. I did however read "The Da Vinci Code."  Now, I know this is a fictional story, but it did get me thinking, why wouldn't Jesus get married?
One time, at work, we got into a bit of a religious conversation.  That's always a bad thing to do at work for certain reasons I won't mention at the moment.  For some reason, we were originally talking about Martin Scorcese films. Somehow, we were talking about the film "The Last Temptation of Christ."  At the time, I knew very little about the plot, but the understanding I had was, when Jesus was dying on the cross, he was thinking about the life he could have had with Mary Magdeline. (I honestly have never watched the movie, and it's not exactly at the top of my watch list at the moment.)  I explained the plot to a coworker, and she flipped out!  She exclaimed, "JESUS WOULD HAVE NEVER GOTTEN MARRIED!  That would have made him a lustful man!  And Jesus was NOT LUSTFUL!" 
I answered, "Getting married is a sin?!?! I didn't know that!"
But does getting married have to make you a lustful person?  Or are you fulfilling God's plan?  Or is it just a business proposition?  Back in biblical times, marriage really had nothing to do with love anyway. It had more to do with continuing the blood line and also, what kind of status or class that person had.  It had more to do with, that person will give me their cows and their land, or whatever they had if I give him my daughter. Personally, that sounds awful to me, but it was what it was.
Only in the last a hundred or two hundred years did marriage really become about marrying someone because of love. 
The other thing I think about is poor Mary Magdeline!  If she and Jesus weren't married, or if she at least wasn't married to one of the apostles, she must of had the worse case of best friend syndrome EVER!  You know, that girl that hangs out with a guy because she's in love, but it never turns into anything romantic! She continued to follow him around for the rest of her life after they met.  I mean, he did say kind things to her, and made her feel loved. A lot of women fall for that!
There's a movie I really like by Kevin Smith named "Dogma." I have a thing for the crassness of Jay and Silent Bob. They make me laugh!  (Spoiler Alert!) Part of the plot of this movie was that, Jesus did get married to Mary Magdeline and the did have ancestors.  (And call me crazy, but I love Buddy Jesus!)  It seems that this theme has been around for years and years.
I'm not trying to be sacrilegious.  This is something that I've thought about since I was twelve years old!  I also have this thing called a since of humor.  I think God has one too.  God would be really boring if he didn't!   

Thursday, September 20, 2012

To Get the Lyrics: Ben Folds' Story Telling

One of the many reasons I love Ben is his story telling capabilities in his lyrics. He usually has a story to tell about each song when you see him live.  Also, in his Retrospective album, he puts a story of how each song happened in the liner notes.  I have a few favorite songs of Ben's that the lyrics move me every time I hear them.
"Beautiful Songs of Love" a friend of mine mentioned in a previous post. Before, every time I heard the song, it reminded me of high school.  Now, when I read through it, it makes me think of adults who are different,  who choose to not be part of the crazy culture of the young professionals we are expected to be a part of.  You graduate from college. You get a job and wear a suit. You go to happy hour after work.
It doesn't exactly work that way, especially for artists.  We can pretend to be those people, but it's not who we are. So, where do artists meet people?  That's a whole different topic.
I never wanted to become on of the "Young, Uniform Minds, in Uniform Lines, And uniform ties."
I do love singing and creating "Beautiful Songs of Love."
"Steven's Last Night in Town" is one of my favorite stories to listen to Ben tell.  It went something like this: Steven was a "friend" that was visiting. He would use a fake accent and always tell women it was his last night in town.  He would still show up at the next party and tell the same story. He was obviously not leaving town!
This song is just fun to listen to, from the clarinet with swagger that begins it, to the fun drum solo in the middle, it's awesome!
Sometimes, the story telling of a song is how the listener interprets it.  Sometimes, it's the actual story that the lyricist intended.  Both of these songs are awesome examples from Ben of his story telling.  There are so many more!  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

To Get the Lyrics: Cold Play "Yellow"

I have a thing for lyrics. Sometimes, I can be listening to a song, and fall in love with one line.  A friend was having a conversation on Facebook a couple months ago about the song, "Yellow" by Coldplay.  She said that the lyric, "For You I'd Bleed Myself Dry" was kind of morbid, and basically, even though she liked the song, she didn't really like that lyric.
I didn't like the song until I heard that lyric!
I explained to her what it meant to me:
I've had a kidney transplant, and someone died to give me that kidney.  It's a cadaver kidney.  People don't always have to die to give their kidneys, but this person chose to donate his/her organs if the opportunity arose, which saved my life. So, that person literally "Bled himself dry" in my mind.
The other way to look at it is, for a religious person, Jesus Christ gave his blood on the cross for our sins, or he "Bled himself dry."
Look at it how you want, but to me, the lyric means, the person loves someone so much, he will die for her.
We've actually had people asking for the sheet music for this song for Weddings.  One person came in and asked for the "Christian version."  I didn't know there was a "Christian Version."
Lyrics to songs can mean something different for every person.  This is what this lyric means to me. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Love, Ben Folds

My love for Ben Folds started when I was the wee age of 19.  I had heard the song "Brick," but honestly, it did nothing for me. The song that made me fall in love was, the Ben Folds Five's "Battle of Who Could Care Less!"  The harmonies were amazing!  I ran out and bought the album, and from there, all is history.
As I sit here at my desk in the anticipation of the new Ben Folds Five CD, that is going to be delivered at any second by the UPS person, I reminisce on all of the years I've had with Ben and the love of his music. I've lost count how many concerts I've been to.  It's probably around 15-20, which is low in some people's eyes.
The first time I met Ben, I announced to every one at work that day, I wasn't leaving the concert venue until I met him!
Ben and I at Purdue, May 2, 2005
Well, I did. I stood for an hour in the rain... blah, blah, blah, but it happened!  All of my co-workers at the time, started calling him my husband!  
Every year, I try to see him at least once live.  It usually happens in the fall, so, I've started associating Fall with seeing Ben at some point. (Which is funny, because all of the pics I've posted on here are from Spring concerts!)
This year is different!  I've never seen him with the actual Ben Folds Five.  This is going to be so awesome!  I'm waiting for that CD to come today, so, I can start memorizing all of their new songs!  
There's something about Ben and BFF that moves me from deep in my soul.  I love every song, every harmony, every lyric! 
Indianapolis, Murat March 21st, 2009
Purdue March 1, 2008
E. and I with Sam, Ben's Drummer
October 3rd will be here soon!  I've spent way too much money on tickets, but I have them.  See ya then, Ben! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I hate pretty much any type of Arachnid! They all freak me out!  I had this random thought last night:  I should go to Youtube and look at videos of Spiders to see if I can get more used to them or the Desensitization Psycology. Well, it just made it worse!
The worse part is contemplating where the little boogers can hide in a bathroom! The things that show up on Youtube scare me!  Huge spiders sitting on toilets, hanging out in showers, walking on the walls... all of it makes my heart race! 
I know that most spiders a non-aggressive, unless you enter their territory.  The problem is, I have no idea what a spider has decided is it's territory!
I hate all other arachnids too!  My biggest fear camping is a tick bite. Even looking at scorpions makes me shudder.  I have a niece that was stung buy a scorpion, and even though I would love to come visit her, I don't think I could.  She got stung while sleeping in her own bed in her house. The fact that she survived, makes me feel a little better about it.  But every once in a while, she still posts pictures on Facebook of scorpions they've found around their house.
I have problems walking through pet stores, because they may sell Tarantulas! What if one got loose, and it jumps on me?!?!
I think, when I was little, my brother, whom is much older than me, threatened to throw spiders on me!  I have the right to be afraid of them!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Super Secret FAST Way

You know, when you have a Super Secret FAST Way to get somewhere.  Well, I have a few!  What really gets to me is when, I'm taking my Super Secret FAST Way to get somewhere, and all the sudden there's a person in front of me going slow!
The other day, I was on Boy Scout Road. I use this road to get to a few places in Lawrence.  The person in front of me was barely going TWENTY miles per hour!  The speed limit is 35!  Really?!  Let's move person! Even the cyclists and joggers are moving faster than you! I have an appointment to get to!
Then, I have to say the old Mennonite Proverb, "Patience is a virtue. Herman the worm has is, so, why don't you?"

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Patchouli Incident of 2002

In 2002, I came down with the worse case of Influenza I have ever had!  Up to that point, most of my illnesses were kidney, bladder, and/or Urinary Tract related.  I was miserable!
I went to my voice lesson with Dr. B.  I wouldn't have gone, but my friend Joey was coming to work on a duet with me.  We started singing, and waves of nausea started flooding over me!  She looked at me and said, "You're green!  What's wrong?!"
I looked at her and said, "I'm sick! I need to go home!" 
She stated something about, yes, go home.  She didn't want to get sick, or something like that.  This was the week the choir was going on a tour.  I walked into Dr. Z's office, which he had a student in there, but I didn't even care.  I looked at him and said, "I'm sick. I'm going home. I'm not coming to choir rehearsal today!"
He looked at me and said, "Umm, ok."  I walked out and went home.
Around this same time, the Broadway musical "Rent," one of my favorite shows of all time, was in town.  I had already bought a ticket to go. My friend R. and I had already decided we were going to Applebee's for dinner. We went to Applebee's.  All I ordered was tortilla chips with ranch and a Sprite.  I could barely stomach them, but I still ate.  After dinner, we headed over to Tilson Auditorium. 
We get in our seats, and it turned out, a bunch of our friends and fellow music students were sitting around us.  We all had the cheap seats!  The guy in front of us, M. had brought a date.  I recognized her, but didn't know her very well.
Here's the thing, it was like she had dumped a whole bottle of patchouli oil on herself. We sat down, and were waiting for the show to start.  All the sudden, the patchouli smell got to me!  I ran to the restroom!  It wasn't fast enough!  Those red and white tortilla chips where coming up now!  And of course, there's a line in the ladies restroom!  Finally, someone leaves, and as I open the door, the vomit hits the wall of the stall. It was disgusting!  As I'm puking, I can hear the opening notes of the show starting.  That would be the SECOND time I've missed the opening of that show!
I cleaned myself up and the wall of the stall, and headed back into the theater. From that day on, the smell of Patchouli makes my stomach churn!  I had a co-worker that used to wear it.  As soon as I walked in the door for work, it didn't matter if she was in the room or not, I could smell it!  I told her the vomiting story more than once, to try to get it through to her, but she still wore that scent every once in a while.
What brought on this memory is, a customer came in wearing a perfume that smelled like it.  Now, this is an older customer.  She's not someone I would have thought would wear that smell, but she did.
And now, I have to go think about something else, as to not make myself sick.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Greatest Anxiety

I had a dream this morning.  It went like this. 
I showed up for a wedding, and when I got there, I found out I was supposed to be singing a song for this wedding. Well, the accompanist shows up, and here I am sight reading the music, and freaking out!  At the same time, I'm supposed to be meeting with the seamstress for the alterations on my dress.
This created some anxiety ridden sleep for me!

I had a dream a month or two ago. 
I was at Showchoir Camps of America and performing in the teacher show.  I knew the music they were singing, but I didn't know the choreography.  I was standing with all the people dancing, yet, I was not moving! 
It was pretty awful!

I have dreams like these every once in a while.  I know my greatest stage freight inducing fear is, not knowing something on stage, and panicking. 
I'll have to contemplate this and remedy it somehow!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pop Divas: An Obsession from a Young Age

I've been obsessed with Pop Divas ever since a I was a little girl.  I wanted to be one.  I would buy their cassette tapes and learn every note, swoop, and run they would sing!  I wanted to be one!  Now, I'm a classically trained singer.
One of my biggest heart breaks was being told by my college voice professor, I was never going to be one.  Also, she pointed out, she was NEVER going to train me in that style.  See, one of my fellow college students had ratted me out to her, telling her I wanted to be a pop diva.  (And whoever that was, jeese, thanks!)  So, I remember we had a whole voice lesson where, I was lectured that it wasn't going to happen!
Now, that I'm older, I see, I probably should have found the money for an actual vocal coach.  One that would have actually, trained me how to sing and belt properly. But I didn't.
So, I've been training myself.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11/01: Where was I?

I, of all people, woke up early.  I had nowhere to be.  I turned on the Television.  I soon realized, something terrible was happening.  There was smoke billowing out of one building, and the news anchors were describing that a plane had hit the building.  I sat there watching the events unfold.  At some point, my roommate Justin came in and said, he was going to class.  I told him what had happened, and he just looked at me like I was overreacting, said, "OK," and left.  About that time, the second plane hit the second tower, and every second of it was shown on television!  I sat there as long as I could, watching things unfold.  This is when, the news anchors started announcing, the United States is under attack! Reports started coming in of other planes that were having issues. Then, all flights were grounded.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the music department had blocked at time for convocations and recitals at 11:00am. I walked into the recital hall that day just a little before 11am. It was really quiet. No one was talking. Finally, Dr. Todd Sullivan came out and stated something.  I don't really remember what he was trying to say, because I was in my own head at the time.  I'm sure all of my fellow students were, also.  His statement was something about staying calm.  We were all going to be just fine.  It all seems so trite now. I have no clue what the recital was that day.  I know I sat through it.  It may have even been a vocal recital, now that I think about it.
Afterward, the men of Phi Mu Alpha were having one of their cookout fundraisers out in the back of the Center for Performing and Fine Arts, the CPFA.  We all went out back to eat, and finally started talking to each other.  Some people were scared. Some people were angry. Most of us were just confused.  Why?  Why would someone do this?  Why would they attack buildings in New York City?  Why the Pentagon?  Why kill so many innocent people?  The questions just go on and on.
I'll be honest. Seeing all of these people saying, "NEVER FORGET!" really annoys me.  This is why. How could I ever forget?  All of us that were alive on that day, and over the age of 5, will always remember.  We will never forget the friends, the family, the coworkers, the firefighters, the EMT's, all of those people that died.
Then, there was the war that came from it.  All of the men and women that have died to fight for our freedom.  The freedoms to be religious or not. The freedoms to love who we want to love.  The freedoms to vote how we want to vote.
How would I ever forget?
The problem is not forgetting.  It's teaching the next generation about that day.  As soon as the generations that were alive die out, then, the forgetting begins. Teach the children about freedom. Teach the children love.
It shouldn't be, "NEVER FORGET!!!"
It should be, "Teach the children!"  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A New Opportunity, and it involves music!

I'm going to be the new choir director at Crooked Creek Baptist Church!  I'm really excited to take on this position!  The people at this church are amazingly kind and generous.  They do so many things to try to help out their community. They have breakfasts and lunches where they make sure that people in the community have enough to eat. They let community groups meet in their building, which is where my choir meets on Thursday nights!
I visited their music library, and it's actually in pretty good shape!  I can't wait to meet the people and get started!
If you'd like to sing in a choir on Sunday mornings in the Indy area, contact me!  I know a great place to do that!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Conversation About Google Wallet

Coworker: I read an article in Time magazine about how, sooner or later, no one is going to carry a wallet.  It's all going to be on their smart phone! Well, what about all of those people that don't have smart phones!?!

Me:  That generation (the ones that don't want smart phones) is going to die out sooner or later!  I mean, no offense!

Coworker:  But they're so expensive!  I refuse to pay for that!

Me:  You can get a smart phone package at Walmart for $30!

Coworker (Completely changing the direction of this conversation!):  Well, then, people on well fare are going to be buying Smart Phones on my dime!  I don't want that to happen!

So, you are more worried about people on well fare buying smart phones, and trust me, they already do, than, figuring out that you should get one yourself!?
One of those moments in life when I stand there with a gaping jaw.

*My niece E. and I will tell you, WTF? stands for Where's the Food!?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nails... Maybe I'm a Little Vain

I have this weird obsession with my nails. They are brittle and flimsy.  This comes from years of biting, which I don't do anymore, and playing the violin, which I don't do any more, either. 
I want them to GROW!  I manicure them, file them, paint them, try new treatments and lotions that claim to "Strengthen!"  and it never happens! 
I love the way a good clean french manicure looks, but my nails never really grow long enough that a french manicure looks OK on them.  I'll get them all to a good length, and the start bending over the edge of my finger and breaking.  It gets really frustrating!
I used to get acrylics all the time in high school and college.  My orchestra director loved that!  The woman that did them in high school worked at the Natural Way Nail Shop.  It was a business she and another woman ran out of a home.  They had random pets every where, like a huge glass cage with an iguana! She would do the most beautiful hand painted designs, even with french tips. 
The last time I had them done was for a wedding in August of 2009.  That woman did a horrible job!  The last time I drove by that shop it was closed.  I still have one nail that won't grow in correctly after that experience.
Right now, I can barely spend the money to get hair cuts, let alone have my nails done. 
It's soothing to do them myself, but I always mess up the paint somehow. They never look perfect.

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Political Statement I posted on Facebook

I had another friend on Facebook say this.  If you are going to post political posts to the point of annoying, I'm going to unsubscribe to your posts until after the election! Unless, you rather I start posting my view on your page every day! I'm only going to say this once:  I love President Obama.  He may not be perfect, but he is our President.  I hate seeing a person being treated by such HATRED!  If you are really a true Christian, you would talk about love, and praying for the President, not TEARING HIM DOWN. The new Health Care Plan is not called Obamacare!  It's real name is The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act!  If you're going to insult it, LEARN THE REAL NAME! (And once you lived without insurance for three years after a real health care issue, you can complain to me about health care!) I think people should get to CHOOSE if they want a marry a man or woman.  I think gay marriage should be legal.  I believe in separation in of CHURCH AND STATE, especially in MARRIAGE!   I have a lot of other opinions!  But guess what, I DON'T SHARE THEM ON FACEBOOK!  I don't share them at WORK!  I don't ARGUE with people about them!  I just VOTE!  Feel free to unfriend me, or unsubscribe from me over this, but that's my OPINION!  You don't have to listen to it/ Read it!  (And who knows, this may or not be the last time I post my opinion!)

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Dear Women,
When you wash your hands in the restroom, please, flick your hands dry over the trash can and not over the sink, especially if there's a person next to you!  You have more than likely just splashed water all over the person next to you!
The Annoyed Splashed Person Next To You

Friday, August 31, 2012


The moment you walk into a public restroom stall and see urine not only splattered onto the seat, but all over the walls of the stall. Gross! 
This could have been 1 of two things:
A. A squatter.
B. An unsupervised little boy.
I'm leaning towards B.
In all seriousness, people need to learn to clean up after themselves and/or their children!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Human Guinea Pig

I'm starting to feel like my doctor thinks of me as a Human Guinea Pig.  Every couple years, he puts me on a new medicine.  Today, he started me on another one. Maybe this one will do what he thinks it should. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Expectations of an Adult

I don't know if it's just me or my age group, or maybe it's everyone.  I feel I have all of these expectations put on me as an adult.  Some days, I'm just in survival mode.  Can I make it through the day without hurting myself or someone else.  Other days, I feel truly successful!  I made it to work! All of the bills are paid! I have a roof over my head!
Does anyone else feel this way?  Or is it just me? 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

System of a Down: A Random Love

I am a musician, and a classical opera sing to boot! I'm also obsessed with pop divas. I have this random love for the band System of a Down.  I admit it! I love listening to the harmonies. The lead singer's voice is phenomenal! This band isn't for the faint of heart!  (If you don't like cussing among other things, don't listen!)
You might think, "Such a sweet girl! She sings opera and show choir music.  Why would she be obsessed with System of a Down?!?"
This band is so operatic!  I can listen to them for hours on end.  The other day I was listening to them and thinking, I would love to start a band where my operatic voice isn't shunned.  Then, I start to realize, how there's a double standard with male and female opera singers.  It's O.K. for male singers in the pop/rock genre to sound like opera singers.  Besides System of a Down, there's Josh Groban, Il Divo, Muse, and many other male singers with operatic style voices that have successful "Pop Music" careers. When I look at female singers with that style of voice, I see a handful who are very successful, like Kristin Chenoweth, Sandy Patty, and young people, like Charlotte Church and Jackie Evancho.  After Charlotte grew up, the novelty of a 13 year old singing opera wore off, and she's not heard of anymore.  I hope little Jackie Evancho can survive that stigma! Women who are not "Belters"  are chastised for having too much vibrato.  I've been there. I know.  
Has anyone else experienced this? 
So, who's with me?!  Who wants to start and operatic rock band with a female lead singer? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Corn Mo: You Know, that guy who plays the accordian!

I was talking to some friends about Ben Folds.  One of them said, "Ya, this guy with an accordion opened for him!  He was crazy!" 
I said, "Ya, that was Corn Mo!!!  He's amazing!" 
If you've ever seen Corn Mo perform, you know who he is!  He had a couple years where he was Ben Folds' opening act.  (And if you know me, you know I LOVE Ben!) 
My personal favorite Corn Mo song is "Hava Nagila Monster."
I've seen numerous Corn Mo performances, basically because I've seen Ben so many times! One performance, I remember, Corn Mo was playing his accordion, and had a cymbal on the ground in front of him.  He tied a drum stick into his shoelace and would hit the cymbal with it.  That was awesome!
For some reason, Corn Mo has been on my mind since that conversation a week ago, so, I thought I would make that public.
And this is a random memory from Pechin!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

To Go To College or Not To Go To College

When you were in high school, did you feel like you had options when you graduated?  I didn't.  I was expected to go to college.  That's just what everyone did after high school.  If you didn't, you were a failure.
Nobody explained to me at any point, as a teenager, how expensive it is to go to college. No one explained to me that "Financial Aid" really meant LOANS that will take the rest of my life to pay off!
I was at most a mediocre high school student.  I'm shocked that I graduated.  I passed most of my classes in high school, but that's about it.  I got A's in all of my music classes and drama classes, and that's probably what kept me afloat as a student.  It's probably the only reason I stayed in school, to participate in those activities. 
Even though there are hundreds upon hundreds of colleges, I only applied to one.  My drama teacher had graduated from Indiana State University.  He had taken his students there every year for their Theater and Drama Day.  That was my exposure to the school.  As soon as I found out that they had a music degree, I knew that's where I was going.  No one encouraged me to check anything else out.  Luckily, I got into the school and into the music department.  Maybe they took everyone with a pulse at that time.  All I knew I wanted to do was sing!
After my first two years of college, I realized how much debt I was getting into, but as a Dialysis patient on the transplant waiting list, I had to keep going to school.  That way, I could stay on my mom's insurance.  By the time I was in my third year of college, I figured out, I have a passion for doing hair.  I could have gone to a two year or less trade school and been licensed to do hair!
With all of my health issues, and again, the fact that I'm a mediocre student at best, it took me six and a half years to finish my course work.  With my internship, that turned it into seven years.  I got loans every single year to survive.
Right now, my college loan debt is around $48,000.  That does not include the credit cards that I charged my college books and groceries to. I am slowly working to pay off all of that debt.  In 2004, my father's reaction to my debt was, "Declare Bankruptcy!  It's the only way you are going to survive!" Well, I didn't do that.  I'm slowly working my way out of debt.  It's going to take some time, but it's happening.  
I almost feel duped as a teenager, being told, the only way to make it in life is to go to college! No one once ever said to me, "Hey, did you know there are trade schools with two year degrees?" or "Maybe you shouldn't get yourself in that much debt.  College is really expensive!"    
Would I have listened to any of these comments at the time?
These days, are teenagers told how much it costs to go to college?  Is "Financial Aid" really explained to them in a manor that says, this is more debt?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Disney World, the trip worth taking!

In the Fall, Ian and I took a trip to Disney World.  It was amazing!  So amazing, I keep asking him when we're going back!  We spent eight nights and nine days in the Disney World Resort, and every moment was awesome!
One of my favorite things about Disney World were the Extra Magic Hours!  If you stay on Disney property, they have the parks open for extra hours for the guests.  During these Extra Magic Hours, you get to ride all of the main attractions without all of the extra people that are there during the day.  This is so much fun!  Ian and I figured this out by accident.  I mean, we were told what they were, but just ended up being in the right park the second night we were there!  We were in Hollywood Studios eating dinner at the Sci-Fi Diner, and when we were done, the park was still open!  I got to ride my favorite ride, Star Tours, 8 or 9 times in a row that night!  That was awesome!  I recommend, anyone that's going, take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours!
Cinderella's Castle Decorated for Christmas

When you go to Disney, I totally recommend getting the dining plan!  We actually got a code for a free dining plan when we went.  The dining plan we used had one quick service meal, one table service meal, and one snack a day per person. We maybe spent $150 total on food!  Almost every meal was amazing!  One of my personal favorite meals was eating at the Coral Reef restaurant in Epcot.  The Coral Reef has a gigantic tank full of sea life you can watch while eating sea food!  I know, it sounds all wrong!  But it was so beautiful!  An awesome sea turtle sat next to us and slept for our entire meal!  We also experienced the Aloha Show, the Sci-Fi Drive In Diner, and the Liberty Tree Inn.  All we had to pay for were the tips.  I had a friend that went with her family a couple weeks ago.  Her family paid for the dining plan, and she said, they saved over $500.  Trust me, you will never go hungry with the dining plan.  Dessert comes with every meal!

 Liberty Tree Inn Dessert

My favorite experience from the entire trip was the "Festival of the Lion King." This show lasted about a half hour.  It's located in the Animal Kingdom.  People line up for it at least a half hour ahead of start time.  There are puppets and people dressed as the animals.  It's an interactive experience from beginning to end.  The characters talk to the audience and make them part of the show!  They have the audience make the sounds of Wart Hogs, Elephants, Giraffes, and Lions. Then, they tell the story of the "Lion King" through a musical review.  I cried both times we saw it! 

 Festival of the Lion King Flying Monkeys

Going to Disney is definitely the trip worth taking.  We plan on going again soon!  I would recommending going at least once B.C. (Before Children).  We got to enjoy so many things on our own time.  The Happiest Place on Earth is worth every penny we spent! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Health Care Story

In the light of the news of Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, I thought I would share with my readers my health care and insurance, or lack there of, story.  There are so many awesome things coming out of this new Health Care Act!  I know it will take a few years for them to go into action, but they are happening!
It all started when I was eleven. Both of my parents had lost their jobs, and in turn, our family lost our health insurance.  I had severe ear infections.  One night, I was crying because my ear hurt so bad, and my parents didn't know what to do.  They gave me some acetaminophen to try to make some of the pain go away.  In the morning, they got me an appointment with a Community Healthcare Clinic.  They took me in and got antibiotics for the ear infection.  They told my parents that, if I was going to start going there, they would need to do a full physical.  So, my parents had one done.  It was because of The Community Health Clinic, we found out I had ureter reflux.  The nurse practitioner that worked there was very vigilant on figuring out why I had a kidney infection.  She sent me in for a Voiding Cystourethrogram.  This test is pretty invasive, but it had to be done. I've had numerous done from 11-14 years old. (Hi, yes, we want you to pee on the table here, in front of us!) I've had more than I can count!
After that, I had to have a Ureter Reimplantation surgery.  I was eleven.  My parents had not found jobs with insurance yet, and I had to have a major surgery! (It was major then.  Now, it's basically out patient surgery!)  The clinic insisted I go ahead and see a specialist and get this done.  So, my parents took me to the specialist, scheduled a date, and I had the surgery.  The cost at the point was $10,000-$15,000!  My parents did not have that money! I remember them going in and talking to the hospital social worker about it.  In one of these meetings, I remember the social worker handing them a piece of paper stating, the cost had been taken care of!  How it happened, I don't know.  A person or organization could have done this, or the hospital knew they were never going to see a penny, due to my parents situation, and wrote it off.
Within a short amount of time after that, it was suggested that my parents sign me up for an insurance called, "The Crippled Children's Fund."  I got approved, and all of my health care was moved to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.  The insurance also soon changed the name to "Children with Special Health Care Needs."  (I just looked it up, and this program still exists!)
By the time I was 13 years old, the doctor at Riley had found out that the reimplantation surgery had not worked.  He scheduled another surgery to do the Ureter Reimplantation again.  This time, my surgery was covered by the Children with Special Health Care Needs insurance.
After that surgery, my kidneys kept deteriorating. I stayed on that insurance until I was 19 years old. At 19, I started dialysis. When I started dialysis, I was placed on Renal Medicaid and Medicare.  A social worker came in to talk to us.  She basically said, you have to get a real job with insurance.  You're not going to get one with a music performance degree! Around the same time, my mother got a job at Meijer at 65 years old to get herself and me insurance.  I was going to college, and she did not want me to quit.  
I got my call for my kidney in November of 1999.  I was 21 years old.  I was trying not to flunk out of college while being sick and on dialysis.  A new social worker came in.  I was and IU Medical Center, the adult hospital. She was a lot more brash with me.  She was one of the first social workers to ever make me cry.
Transplant Medicare only lasts three years.  Transplant Medicaid, the insurance that pays for the $5,000 a month in transplant anti-rejection meds, the state can take away from you whenever they feel like you are capable of working.  It doesn't matter if you're going to school and trying to get a degree.  You're capable. I was told, to quit school and get a job! I didn't want to quit school!  My IU Med social worker, the one that made me cry, she told me to get a job at Walmart. So, I did.  She said, Walmart gives insurance!  I never received insurance through Walmart.  In fact, the people that were trying to be full time were getting screwed out of their insurance.
This is how it works:  Walmart would schedule the employee four 36-40 hours for two weeks, and then, bring them down to 20-30 hours, which is not full time, for two weeks.  Thus, negating the employees eligibility for insurance.
Finally, we figured out that Medicare would pay for more of a percentage of my medicine than we had previously thought.  My mother was getting my meds from a pharmacy in Lafayette.  The man that owned the pharmacy was also a transplant recipient.  He never made my mom pay for the left over cost of the medicine.  How she worked that out, I may never know! Then, my time on Renal Medicare ran out, and I was without insurance.  I still had to get blood work done.  I still had to get my anti-rejection meds. 
I went back and talked to my social worker.  She encouraged me to put the thousands of dollars of meds on my credit cards, until, she finally got me on a program with the pharmaceutical companies to provide me with my prescriptions at a discounted cost.  I still had to go in for the blood work and labs, or the transplant doctors would not keep prescribing my meds.  This became very expensive, and not paid for after a while.
I was on the pharmaceutical  program for my medicines until I finished my internship, and I got hired at my job.  The first day I was not an intern, my boss signed me up for insurance IMMEDIATELY.  He did this with no questions asked, which is a miracle.  Luckily, I've been insured for the entire time I've worked for my company.  Another good thing is, the medicines I am on are now available in generic.  That's lowered the price considerably.
My big worry is about the future.  What if I try to get on my husband's insurance, and they say no all based on my preexisting conditions?  What if I have a child and quit my job to be a stay at home mom?  I have to be insured!  There's no way I can afford Health Care without insurance!  I'm still in debt from the first time around without it.  
Oh, and remember how I said that some of my labs didn't get paid for?  Well, I started getting calls from a collection agency out of the blue a few years ago.  The woman assigned to my case started harassing me on a daily basis at work!  I told her I didn't have the money yet.  I was willing to make payments, but I didn't have payment in full.  Basically, she told me, I should have died instead of getting health care!  I had no right to health care if I couldn't afford it! 
Health insurance is not a privilege!  It's a civil right!  Not everyone thinks like I do.  They also probably haven't had to live without health insurance during a time of illness.
For you that are out there saying, "Why don't you just get a job?!"  You are probably the same conservative people that are saying, "You should be a stay at home mom!"  Unless my boyfriend gets a ginormous raise in the next year or two, I'll probably be a working mom, just so I can have insurance.
These are my experiences in dealing with Health Insurance.