Showing posts from September, 2009

Random Lyrics and Quotes

"Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
Norman Cousins

"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today."
James Dean

Just what kind of love keeps breaking a heart
No matter how hard I try
I always make you cry
Come on, baby, it's over let's face it
All that's happening here is a long goodbye
Brooks & Dunn

Every generation gets a chance to change the world
Pity the nation that will listen to your boys and girls
‘Cos the sweetest melody is the one we haven't heard
Is it true the perfect love drives out all fear
The right to appear ridiculous is something I hold dear

"Happiness is only real when shared".
Into The Wild

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”
Pope Paul VI

Why I Like Blues

I like blues.

Three chords, twelve bars and a whole lot of range: sad, depressing, heartbreaking, sheer joy, fun, danceable, raw emotional singing or playing, breaking up, making up, making out, naked and grinding, laughing, drinking, moaning, crying. Up tempo, down tempo and everything in between. Lots of sex and no sex. Heartbroke, dead broke. Deep feeling dressed in simplicity. Colorful vocabulary in shades of blue. In a roomful of friends and all alone. On the road or anchored to home.

A five-letter word that spells out a lifetime. Or a moment.

Totally Random 2.6

This round of randomness is just a list of random questions:

- Do you ever respond to a question with the answer you think the asker wants rather than your real answer?

- Have you ever wanted something so much that when you finally had the chance to have it, you choked?

- Or didn’t know what to do with it?

- Can you tell which of your dog’s barks means “I’m so happy to see you,” which one means ”give me another damn treat – it’s been two hours since the last one!” and which one means “I have to go outside NOW!”

- Have you had any regrets in life? Real regrets over something you did or did not do that keep surfacing in your mind cloaked in the repeating question ‘why did I do that?’ or ‘why didn’t I do that?’

- Did you ever buy something in orange even though you know it looks better in blue? Maybe a shirt? Or a car?

Change Your Thinking

My sister and two or three other friends regularly send me these pleasant little stories. They are usually accompanied by a suggestion to send them on to x number of other people in the next ten minutes, or some such thing. I usually read the story, smile for a moment at the thought that someone sent this to me, then hit delete.

This story, however, struck a different chord. I decided to share it with you, my five or ten regular blog readers.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.... His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing…

A Famous Kiss

Have you ever seen this famous picture, taken at the end of World War II?

I just learned today that the woman in the picture, Greta Friedman, is alive and well and lives in my county. This is a more recent picture of her:

There is an article about her in the latest Frederick Magazine. Small world, ey?

Life Lessons in Lyrics 2.0

It's never too late to live your life -
The time is now, it's do or die
It's never too late to live your life -
The time is now, its yours and mine.

performed by Papa Roach

The Older One Is On Top

Yep, every sport has its playoff series, and for NASCAR it’s the Chase.

Through the first 26 races of the 36-race season, drivers earn points based on where they finish in each race, plus points each time they lead a lap and each time they lead the most laps in a race. At the end of those 26 races, the top twelve drivers in the point standings qualify for the Chase. Their scores are reset and the one who leads in points at the end of the ten ‘Chase’ races becomes the Cup Series champ. You could say it’s the Super Bowl ring of stock car racing.

Jimmie Johnson is my favorite driver and he has won the Sprint Cup for the past three years. He is in the Chase again this year, but lots of attention is being paid to Mark Martin, who happens to be my second-favorite driver.

Unless you follow NASCAR regularly you might not know Martin. But you might remember his sponsor from a few years back – Viagra. The synergy was unmistakable – at 50, he is one of the oldest current drivers in NASCAR …

Life Lessons in Lyrics 1.9

Now here is the one thing I keep forgettin':
When everything is falling apart
In life, as in love, you know I need to remember
There's such a thing as trying too hard.

You got to sing like you don't need the money;
Love, like you'll never get hurt;
You got to dance, dance, dance like nobody's watchin'.
It's gotta come from the heart, If you want it to work.

Sung by Kathy Mattea

Anniversaries and Birthdays

Do specific dates on a calendar mean anything to you? I don’t know much about the psychology of commemorating events, but I know I do it a lot.

I usually remember birthdays and anniversaries, or at least the month if not the date. I add that disclaimer because I forgot the exact birthdays of two close friends in just the past three weeks, but I did remember the months.

Birthdays are more important to me than holidays. Everyone celebrates a holiday. A birthday belongs only to you or me (and anyone else who has that birthday, but you know what I mean). Mine is near the end of January and I focus on it more than Thanksgiving or New Year’s Day. December 5th, April 1st, February 19th, March 19th, September 16th and some day at the end of August are on my mind each year; December 3rd was added recently; I’ve forgotten some others but plan to find them and actually note them on my Outlook calendar.

Personal anniversaries play an even more significant role for me and specific images fill my mind…

Life Lessons From Lyrics and a Conversation

Music superstar Kenny Chesney is taking some of his own lyrical advice by not touring in 2010. I'll tell you what convinced him in a minute.

Chesney is at the top of his game, more popular than ever, selling out concerts and regularly hitting the top of the concert revenue charts as well as the music sales charts. He decided to slow all of that down to take time off to actually live his life.

This the same Kenny Chesney who sings "Don't Blink":

'Cause when your hourglass runs outta sand
You can't flip it over, start again
Life goes faster than you think
Don't blink

and "Living in Fast Forward":

I’m always runnin’, son-of-a-gunnin’
I’ve had a good time, it’s true
But the way I been goin’
It’s time that I tone it down just a notch or two
I’ve been livin' in fast forward
Now I need to rewind real slow

What finally convinced him to slow down? A conversation with another music superstar ... Bruce Springsteen.

Kenny says, "He told me something that hit me r…

Dying In Threes Again

OK, Boomers – three more in one week, one is a Boomer and the other two mean something to Boomers. Patrick Swayze, Henry Gibson, and Mary Travers all died this week.

Swayze is the best known across generational lines, in part because his illness was highly publicized and partly because he was still actively working in the spotlight.

Boomers will remember Gibson mostly for his cameos in the late 1960s era TV show “Laugh-In.”

And Travers is the Mary in Peter, Paul and Mary, a commercially successful folk music trio from the 60s. Oldies radio stations sometimes play “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” their most famous song.

I’m feeling a little old tonight, my friends.

That Damn Box

OK, this post is a bit personal. I’ll understand if you skip it and just wait for the next one. But, after all, this is my blog, so some of it will inevitably be personal.

It seems that self-analysis has been a part of my life for a long time. That observation rang true very loudly a few days ago because of what I found in ‘the box.’

The container I’m referring to is a box where I keep notes, journals, poetry, letters and other assorted mementoes from my past. I dug deeper into the box that I usually do when I go “past surfing” and discovered notes and letters from my twenties that I haven’t seen in a long time.

Here is some of what I learned about me that day:

-I have always been a dreamer. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t and the contents of ‘the box’ prove it.

-Learning from the past has been a personal theme for a long time. Apparently I keep relearning things too. In other words, I haven’t always learned from my past.

-I write more when I’m troubled than when I feel good.


Life Lessons in Lyrics 1.8

Is it too much to ask, I want a comfortable bed that won't hurt my back
Food to fill me up, and warm clothes and all that stuff

Pens that won't run out of ink and cool quiet and time to think
And passionate kisses

Do I want too much, am I going overboard to want that touch?
I shout it out to the night: Give me what I deserve, 'cause it's my right!

Shouldn't I have all of this and passionate kisses
Passionate kisses, passionate kisses from you

Written by Lucinda Williams
Sung by Mary Chapin-Carpenter

Twelve Dollar Impulse Purchase

What do you spend on groceries each week? $50? $100? $150? In that range, buying one of those tempting extra little things at the checkout doesn't seem extravagant. A pack of gum, for example. Or the latest Inquirer.

A tempting extra little thing got my attention a few days ago at Starbucks. And I yielded to the temptation. Along with my cup of coffee I bought … are you ready for this? … the re-mastered Beatles CD "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

A $12 impulse purchase with my $1.85 cup of coffee.

The release of the re-mastered Beatles CDs this week made news. That tells me Boomers still rule; or at least we have some influence on the media.

OK, what it really tells me is that the Beatles are still influential. Part of the mystique of this re-release is that they were technologically ahead of their time through much of their recording career. They began to experiment with sound recording techniques such as compression, distortion, microphones directly …

Hero Quote

I don’t know the origin of this quote, but I just saw it on a friend’s Facebook page. It seems appropriate today.

"a hero is no braver than the ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer"

....remembering the heros of 9/11.

Eight Years

Some people want to remember every little detail about September 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attacks. Some people just want to forget.

I am in the group that wants to remember.

I was stuck in traffic that morning on the way to a doctor’s office in Bethesda (suburban Washington DC) for my annual physical. I was listening to the DJs on my radio station doing their crossover from one show to the next. One of them interrupted the jovial conversation with an alarming “oh my God! An airplane just hit the World Trade Center in New York.” The on air studios have a TV in the corner to catch breaking news and he was reacting to graphics he saw flashing across the screen.

News that it was a large airliner not a small traffic plane had just been announced when I arrived at the doctor’s office parking lot. No one in the office had heard anything. By the time I was done with the exam and back in my car, the second plane had hit the towers, a plane had crashed into the Pentagon, DC was be…

Conversation Observation

Linguistic differences from region to region and state to state encompass more than just accents and vocabulary. The manner in which people end their phone conversations can point to a person’s region of origin.

In the south, a phone call often ends with six or seven sentences. For example, a typical phone chat with my sister wraps up like this:

OK, well I better go
OK. Thanks for calling. Nice catching up with you.
Same here. Take care.
You too. See you soon.
OK. Goodnight.

We’re both from Louisiana. She still lives there.

I’ve lived much further north for many years. The end of a phone call around here often sounds like this.

Gotta run.
OK. Seeya.

I think I like the southern way better. How ‘bout you?

Feel free to post a comment on this.

Thanks for dropping by.

Y'all have a nice night.


Partial Solutions, Appreciation and Color

Did you ever want something so much you could taste it? Have a dream so vivid you could see it. Have a clear picture of a life that could be yours despite obvious obstacles?

Ever second-guess yourself? Convince yourself that you could have that life if only (insert excuse here)?

I’m pretty good at second-guessing and over-thinking. I’ll pause for a moment to give those of you who know me in real life time to laugh. Actually if you know me well, you know I eventually get everything I want, or at least an acceptable version of it. “Optimists look for partial solutions” is one of my favorite lines from Alan Loy McGinnis’s book “The Power of Optimism.” I live that line.

There is a difference between “partial solution” and “compromise.” Compromise often refers to giving up something important or accepting a lower standard in the name of achieving some goal. A partial solution to a problem, however, can mean breaking a big problem down into smaller, manageable parts and dealing with eac…

Life Lessons in Songs 1.7

And there's no time to waste
In the play of this game
Don't lose the dreams inside your head
They're only there until you're dead

sung by Dave Matthews

Life Lessons in Lyrics 1.6

You think life is like a movie
Where it all works out in the end
I think life is like a dessert
Where does it go where does it begin

When you look into a mirror
Do you like what's looking at you
Now that you've seen your true reflections
What on earth are you gonna do

Find some inspiration
It's down deep inside of you

sung by Dave Matthews

Learning, Friends and Balance

Role models come in many shapes and sizes. Learning from my role models and being one myself are part of the balance I seek in life.

Parents are the most obvious role models. As children, we learn from their actions, as teens we often reject that knowledge in the name of finding our own identity. We wake up in the middle of adulthood to discover we are more like them than we ever wanted to admit. We are also old enough and hopefully wise enough to find a balance between part of what we learned from them and part of what we learned on our own. Dad was confident, curious, stubborn and a great planner. Mom was curious, a great planner and had a great sense of humor. They are both gone now, but they live on in me.

Friends can be role models too. Most of the people who mean something to me have reinvented themselves over time and I observe their processes as guidelines for my own reinvention. One friend ‘retired’ in her 40s and moved to Hawaii with her new husband; she has since start…

Life Lessons in Lyrics 1.5

Temporarily immersed in Dave Matthews lyrics. I know some of my readers won't mind ... and you know who you are :)

Then an evening spent dancing
It's you and me
This love will open our world
From the dark side we can see a glow of something bright
There's much more than we see here
Don't burn the day away
Is this not enough
This blessed sip of life
Is it not enough

sung by Dave Matthews

Take Me Home Country Roads

I took the back roads home from work last night, successfully avoiding the Labor Day weekend traffic on local Interstates.

The commute begins on Route 28, a six-lane boulevard where I start in Rockville. The road is filled with cars and flanked by shops, restaurants, apartments and office parks. Cars turn left and right at each traffic light as I proceed straight ahead; a smile grows on my lips as the traffic volume shrinks.

Left lane must turn left. Right lane ends in 1000 feet.

Now highway 28 is a grey and yellow ribbon draped across estates, horse farms and acres of corn fields. Gentle rolling hills and a slowly setting sun add peace to the ride. Two traffic lights punctuate the scene, each in the center of a quaint town where small, centuries-old buildings nudge their toes against the curb.

Ever heard the John Denver song “Take Me Home Country Roads”? Despite the lyric reference to West Virginia, this is the road he used to drive on that provided inspiration for the song.

Next …

Life Lessons In Lyrics 1.4

Isn't it strange
How we move our lives for another day
Like skipping a beat
What if a great wave should wash us all away
Just thinking out loud
Don't mean to dwell on this dying thing
But looking at blood
It's alive right now
Deep and sweet within
Pouring through our veins

sung by Dave Matthews

Life Lessons In Lyrics 1.3

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth making

Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance

sung by
Lee Ann Womack

A Little Unsettled

I’m feeling a little unsettled today. It’s the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death.

I’ve studied grief, interviewed grief and loss experts on the radio and talked with friends about their various losses. I know we never really get over the loss of a family member; over time we do process the loss differently and over time there is usually less sadness than when the loss first occurs.

All of that is true for me too; I usually feel some sadness on this date but I also smile when I think about Mom. However, on this date each year, I get a little more pissed off at the nursing home officials who decided they should ride out Hurricane Katrina rather than evacuate their residents, three of whom were over 90 years old. None of the residents died that day, but a day or two later, the residents had to be moved across the street to a hospital because there was six inches of water in the nursing home and no electricity, food, running water or working toilets. The hospital wasn’t much better an…