Monday, February 22, 2010

Things I need to change....

1. The number of hours in a day from 24 to 30, ON THE CONDITION that the other 6 hours must be used for me and only me, and at my discretion to do whatever I please......

2. My amount of sleep. I'm not getting enough and haven't for a while. I'm going to have to learn to manage my energies far better than I'm doing now. I've long been hard-wired to not fall asleep before 11:00, but if it takes Unisom by the truckload to get me on a better sleep schedule, I'll just have to renew my Sam's membership.

3. Letting the minor annoyances get to me. I don't know why they do but they do. Frankly, I'm growing tired of the "no wire hangers" sort of thing in myself.

I have a lot of things to work on....... where to start?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow. Snow. Snow.

For the fourth or fifth time this winter, we are having a "winter event"...... only this time, it actually did happen to us. Oh, we've had mild freezing rain and a dusting of snow the other times. And naturally there are always the predictions that never pan out for us (but 30 minutes north of us and oh yeah.....).

This time, it was for real. We got beautiful wet snow at the office, closed up a little early, and I drove home in a pretty snowfall, light and twinkling. I've driven in a couple of other snow events here in my adult life: both were quick and furious with huge flakes and driving winds. The difference between the two is an angry uncle-by-marriage who's stuck watching a gaggle of kids when he'd rather be at a monster truck rally with his buddies ..... and a sweet grandmother who just pulled your favorite cookies right out of the oven, so happy to see you that she can't wait to hug you!

Anyway, it cancelled some of my morning events, but not my afternoon ones. It will be in the upper 30s by noon, so no problems driving. By the time the events are done, it will not be dark yet, so it shouldn't be much trouble driving home.

And it made me think of where I was a year ago....... a beautiful mountain cabin nestled in the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia. Oh my. It was a butt-cold but gorgeous weekend. Matter of fact, Fasnacht is tonight in Helvetia, and I wish them a beautiful day and pleasant evening (especially for the feast at The Hutte; don't forget your reservations!). We were just outside the Dolly Sods wilderness area, not too far from the Canaan Valley resort area..... I cannot begin to tell you just how beautiful that area is.

So I looked up the weather report for the Canaan Valley area this morning: as of right now, 19.2 degrees F; chances of snow: 90% today, 40% tomorrow, 70% Monday, 30% on Tuesday and Wednesday...... Oh, le sigh. Massive le sigh. I could use a snowbound weekend in a cabin in the middle of nowhere ...........

Again, my friends. Since not this year, perhaps next. But we will do this again. Somehow, someway.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Really? Really?

So I was perusing Facebook, as I am usually wont to do when I have a few moments. And I noticed one of the lovely ads off to the side: "For Classy Cougars Only!"

One of my cardinal rules in life has been this: things (or persons) which are self-described "classy" generally aren't. I want to say I got that idea from Lewis Grizzard and his description of a personals ad: "Classy SWF age 35-39, enjoys blah blah blah...." and how usually the woman who actually showed up was quite frequently the antithesis of class. I think of those glittery iron-on t-shirts from the 70s: a butterfly with "Classy Lady" detailed below it -- and usually worn by women with heavily bleached hair, eyes with enough liner and mascara to make Rocky Raccoon say, "Tone it down, sister!", and too often with a cig hanging out of their mouth with enough ash on it to rival Mt. St. Helen's. And usually yelling something to someone they knew or screaming at the kids that their daddy was gonna whoop their aaaaaaaassssssssssss (or for those who don't always drag out their words, that's "ass"). Or it also brings to mind a restaurant like "Klassy Kafe" ... usually, a great hangout for the Whiskey Tango crowd. I guess that's where I get the connotation.

And the whole cougar thing.... really? How did those of us who are single and of a certain age get saddled with this predatory moniker? Just because we have a little more confidence and self-awareness at this time in our lives doesn't automatically mean we are out there to pounce on the first willing 25-year-old guy who comes along. When I think "cougars," I think of my college mascot: a perfectly noble creature! When the real cougar goes on the hunt, it is for survival, not because he feels he can and is therefore entitled to. If it were a Far Side world, we would already have the National Large Feline Anti-Defamation League already working overtime on this......

Classy Cougar. If I ever describe myself this way, you'll know I've hit my head and given myself a bad case of brain damage. Feel free to pull a Cher moment: "SMACK! Snap out of it!" I will thank you for it. I promise.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I Love Rock 'n' Roll.....

but lately, I have been completely enthralled with AOL Radio's "Jazz Vocalists" to listen to while at work.

I think that when it comes to singing, if I were to ever attempt a career in vocal music at this late stage of the game, it would be jazz -- probably Great American Songbook type of things. I purely love when a Billie Holiday tune comes across..... oh my. And I have been floored -- in fact, beautifully pleasantly surprised -- by Renee Fleming.... yes, the operatic soprano has a mezzo voice for jazz that is phenomenal. I've discovered the music of Blossom Dearie other than what I grew up hearing on Schoolhouse Rock.... she's the one who sang about us unpacking our adjectives. Her version of "Someone To Watch Over Me" is absolutely endearing.

I catch myself walking around at work humming tunes and most of them are the jazz standards. Or I'll be singing something in the car and it's got a jazz feel to it. There's not a lot in life that I regret -- I don't like the idea of looking back and thinking "what if?" But these are the times I think, "Yeah, I should have been a vocal performance major."

As much as I completely love rock and pop, I couldn't have sung it. I don't have the grit in the voice. I probably could do indie/Americana stuff.... but it's not me. I do sing church music.... in church. (Just for the record -- attention haters and naysayers: choosing to keep my church music in church has ZERO to do with proving to ANYONE the depth of my love for Christ. God already knows. Now....)

But jazz/GAS stuff.... yeah, I could do that.

Le sigh.