back to school rant

I find myself wondering why certain people simply cannot be positive.
I mean, sure we all have those moments when we feel negative. When we’re at the end of our ability to give one more teeny tiny damn about whatever it is.
But I’m talking about people who are actively negative. Do they lack hope? Are they not skilled in observing the positive in any thing?
Imagine what their inner speech sounds like! Imagine what they heard as children…what they continue to tell themselves as adults. Why, it breaks my heart! What is it like to be inside that head with no idea of how to hope?
Honestly, it breaks my heart.
But it also makes me angry.
It makes angry because these negative people inflict the same things on their own children. The first thing that comes to mind is negative. Hope is a foreign concept.
I’m talking big broad concepts this morning, I know…but I’m angry.

I checked social media this morning to see all the “back to school” posts and photos. Kids I taught when they toddlers are in high school now. Kids I taught when they were toddlers are in kindergarten now. Kids I’ve known since they were toddlers starting college now!
I have so much joy seeing these photos! I have so much hope for these children!

And then I come across a post that made me want to kick someone in the face.
A post of our own Thing G starting his junior year posted by his mother. Who couldn’t put a positive spin on anything if a gun was held to her head. She has a knack for posting things to get positive feedback. When I read her posts,I’m often thankful that I know I’m enough. That I know my own worth even on days when I don’t feel it. I don’t need people to boost my self confidence.
This morning, I saw a photo of YBW’s baby captioned with the saddest bunch of drama you’ve ever seen. Words written with designs on having comments to boost the mother’s confidence and nothing about the child. The words she wrote focused on his diagnosis. Focused on the most negative aspects of his personality. Under the guise of her “being hopeful” his teachers would see his good traits as apposed to these negative ones.

I was so angry. How dare she use him like that to get attention?
I just want to shake her and say:
How about YOU see your child for his good traits!?!
How about YOU focus on what he is capable of doing!?!
How about YOU have a little faith and trust!?!
How about YOU stop putting YOUR stuff on a child that has enough on him already!?!

I’ve posted stuff about my children on social media for years. First day of school pics included. I’m sure that I’ve posted things that may be questionable. But I guarantee I’ve not done it with negativity. I guarantee I’ve not done it to get more attention.
Parents are proud. We live in an age where it’s no longer photos in your wallet that you bring out and pass around. We’re posting on social media, we’re sharing photos online. I mean come on! We’re even creating hashtags for events! Parents are proud to share their accomplishments, and the accomplishments of their children. I love sharing things about my girls.
I worry about motivation. I worry about how what you say and post online will be forever out there. I worry that one day a child will read what a parent writes and hear nothing but negativity. I worry the child will further internalize that.

I’m angry because it’s so not fair!
Children deserve better.
Parents deserve better.
And people who are exposed to you on social media deserve better.
It’s the first day of school, for the love of all things holy! How about a little hope!?! I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Rant over. Please continue with your regularly scheduled reading.

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baseball and the first amendment

We went to the Newseum on Friday before we headed over to the Nats game.
Two of my absolute most favorite things!
I was getting my dork on something fierce at the Newseum!
Newseum
Do you know on the front of the building is printed what I consider the most important words ever written in the history of the United States?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Those words! Even just writing them here on this page gave me the gooseflesh.
I don’t think many folks ever really think about the importance of the first amendment. I think about it every single day. I am a woman in a country where I can say what I think without worrying about my safety. I can have a relationship my God without the interference from the government. I can read any news and know that it’s been (mostly) fair, unbiased, and not at all controlled by the government.
What would have happened to Woodward and Bernstein, or Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham in the early 1970s if there was no first amendment?
Look how many places there are in the world where this isn’t the case!

Newseum Freedom of the Press Map

Newseum Freedom of the Press Map

I am the first amendment’s biggest fan! (I’m so sure there are loads of folks who say the the same thing. But I’m not talking about them today, I’m talking about me.)
I’m oftentimes jaded about our government. I’m oftentimes jaded about our archaic constitution. But I have moments when I am at one with the concepts that helped create our government…

It was steamy at Nationals Park Friday night. Gio Gonzalez pitched beautifully. Both Daniel “Hits” Murphy and Thing 2’s beloved “greasy hobo”, Jayson Werth hit solo dingers. Murphy had a ground out RBI and Werth hit an RBI double. The “face of the franchise” Bryce Harper hit a two run triple.
We cheered. We clapped. We high-fived and fist-bumped all night long. There were beautiful plays in the field. The boys of summer where on it Friday night!
The Nats won in a walk off the first game of their series with the Rockies. (as it turns out, it was the only win of the series)
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mind web…sort of

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All set up and ready to rock.
Of course, I began…then panicked. Ripped out the first attempt and folded it in half. Then I made a list on the folded page to organize my thoughts.
Yeah, I’m aware that’s not exactly how this process is designed to work…but that’s how I work…so there it is.

Now I’m armed with list in hand to keep my thoughts organized. My perfect collection of colored pencils and myriad Sharpie and Crayola markers wait at the ready.
I’ve got this.
Sort of.

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the only way out is through

I’ve not been shy about discussing my recent emotional dilemma.
I’ve not been shy about talking about it with my friend and mentor, Sundance, my sister in law, and Nora. I’ve freaked out to them about relationship stuff, but also just my stuff. Girlfriends lend a sympathetic ear when you’re frustrated. They provide a hard look at your own reflection when you’re feeling overwhelmed. I’ve gotten great advice from each of them…I’ve gotten a bit of crap advice from each of them…but mostly, they’ve just loved me through my struggle.
I have the luck to be friends with a man who is an excellent listener without giving unsolicited advice. I’ve talked to him about me. Where I am personally. In my life…in my head.

Where I’ve been emotionally has a great deal to do with perspective. Mine was skewed. It isn’t anymore. I experienced a shift in my perspective and everything became more clear.
It hit me like lightning! And I became a completely different girl…well not really, but I began to think about things in a completely different way.

Sundance fed my OCD cravings for organization by presenting me with the idea of going back to a paper planner. We discussed brands and what she was using and how, for her, it’s like “scrapbooking” with a purpose. I’m enthusiastically embracing this “old” way of keeping myself organized!
My sister in law encouraged me to write down everything as I thought or felt it, which lead to a new and rather visceral way of journaling.
Nora encouraged me to be patient…and I was…sort of…and turns out being patient lead me to this place.
My friend and mentor reminded me to place the anxiety where it belongs.
A conversation with Jack regarding my reservations about my degree plan lead me to an exciting new idea. He suggested I explore this mind mapping as a way of prioritizing all my “stuff”. The more I looked at this mind mapping, the more I realized it’s rather like an integrated curriculum web! Now this is something with which I have quite a bit of knowledge and experience! And a new, but familiar way of sorting my shit was born!

sample mind map:
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sample curriculum web:
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The Robynbird stuff is feeling much more settled. I feel grounded. I feel like I’ve got this. “I am at home with the me. I am rooted in the me who is on this adventure. This is me breathing.” Dr Oatman ain’t got nothing on this little red haired girl.

I finally feel like I can take big deep breaths and move forward.

The relationship stuff…well I didn’t exactly place the anxiety where it belongs, I was simply able to finally put down the anxiety that isn’t mine. Understanding, patience, love, and time is what will ease that weirdness. It’s journey, right? I’m not on a lone journey…how silly of me not to take that into account.
So, we don’t have a clear vision of the journey. So, we don’t know exactly where we’re headed. So, the path gets tricky. The only way out of the woods is through the woods…if we come across lions or tigers or bears (oh my!) we’ll just figure that out then.
The journey we’re on as a couple might just need to make a pit stop. We can do that. Take a break, take a breath, take a nap. And when we’re ready, when each of us is ready to move forward, we’ll begin to move again.
My personal journey, the journey I’m on as a girl getting along and singing her song, is moving at a full tilt boogie. I’m so enthusiastic about it! I’ve been spinning my wheels in the ick for far too long.

The only way out of the ick is through it.
Alanis knows what’s up.

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*sips fruit salad*

Thing 1 posted this on my facebook this week.
I was amused.
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Then I got to thinking…did I drink too much when the girls were growing up?
Am I a bad mom?
Am I a bad example?
I’ve decided to answer all three of these questions with a nopity nope.
I am an excellent mom. Playful and sincere, with loads of important life lessons.
Of course, I’ve had phone calls or text messages from each of them at one time or another asking me for my Cosmopolitan recipe.
Hmm…perhaps I’m not the best mom after all…
Meh, I’ll just have another sip of my fruit salad and decide not to worry about it.

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the Journey is not a Destination

I’ve been thinking a great deal about The Journey this morning. Which is peculiar as I’m a complete and total Destination Girl and care very little for The Journey. I want to get where I’m going in the quickest time possible. This means no dilly-dallying along the way. I stop quickly for fuel and potty breaks and get right back on the road.
Why is getting there so important? Why isn’t The Journey what’s important?
I don’t know why this is exactly.

I think The Journey feels like wandering to me. It doesn’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. But this morning, I was struck with a thought that had never occurred to me before.
You must have faith to make The Journey.
You have to trust in your own faith without trying to control it. You cant control it. You have to let go and take a leap of faith. You have to believe you’re doing the hard work to get where you belong. Not to get where you’d like to go. You can’t steer the direction at all times, sometimes you have to drift.
That’s hard to do. That’s why it feels as though The Journey is not a Destination.

The Journey is hard because each of us has personal goals, places we’d like to go or be.
I think that’s the hardest thing to remain mindful about. That while we have our own desires, the path is laid out for us and we must go where it leads us. Sometimes it leads us in the direction opposite of our personal goals. We’re so arrogant that it never occurs to us that we may need to wander a bit more before we are ready for whatever that goal is.

The Israelites wandered for 40 years because they lost their faith. God cursed them to wander because of their disobedience and lack of belief. Their wandering forced them to learn from The Journey.

Tolkien wrote:

All that is gold does not glitter
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither
Deep roots are not reached by the frost
From the ashes a fire shall be woken
A light from the shadows shall spring
Renewed shall be the blade that was broken
The crownless again shall be king

Perhaps this Destination Girl is mistook?
Perhaps The Journey is not simply wandering aimlessly.
Perhaps the importance is not in the Destination. Perhaps there is more importance in The Journey.
The Destination may change.
The Journey is constant. It may have detours. It may be slow. But, The Journey is what shapes who we are.
Destination Girl stops and takes a big breath.
I encourage everyone to stop and take a big breath. What we’re meant to know is out there on the path. We learn along The Journey if we have faith and trust.
Peter Pan said, “All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
I firmly believe ‘the boy who never grew up’ knew a thing or two about The Journey.

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terrifying and strange and beautiful muchness

Thing 2 sent this via snapchat one day last week. It triggered in me a deeply buried memory of a poem I read or heard…before Warsan Shire’s words became the backbone of Beyonce’s Lemonade.
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Thing 2 is a curious beast. She struggles with her place in our family. She struggles with her place in the world. She is the kind of girl that defies labeling. Like Alice, her muchness is undefinable.
She is cursed with the kind of awareness that not many of us possess. The kind of awareness that sends one straight into one’s head with a great deal of difficulty to get back out again.
Thing 2 doesn’t really have enough life experience under her belt yet that these words ring true in the deepest levels of her soul. But they ring true on the surface.
She knows that even if she doesn’t completely understand it.
What she does know is that she’s a bit different from most people.
The Hatter said to Alice, “‎You’re not the same as you were before,” he said. You were much more… muchier… you’ve lost your muchness.” Thing 2 was muchier when she was a small girl…life has gotten in the way. Her muchness isn’t gone, she’s just kind of forgotten where it is inside of her.
She knows she’s meant to be more than she is now. She just doesn’t know quite what to do about it.

Here is “for women who are ‘difficult’ to love.” by Warsan Shire, for my Thing 2 and for all the women out there who are much more muchier than they realize.

you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
prettier
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.

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pretending the bed is a raft

I once had this book called Pretending the Bed is a Raft. It’s a collection of short stories written by Nanci Kincaid. I remember the stories were beautifully written but devastatingly sad. I’m not sure what happened to that book. A quick scan of my shelves and I don’t see it. It may have gone to the used bookstore during one of my annual book purges.
What I have to say isn’t really about the book anyway. It’s about the title.

Pretending the bed is a raft.
I love this concept! Let’s pretend the bed is a raft.
I feel like it’s a game of make believe we might have played when Thing 1 and Thing 2 were little. They would have wanted to be pirates on that bed raft. They would have had us all dressed up with scarves and eye patches and Thing 1 would have wanted to be the captain, but Thing 2 probably would have been calling the shots. I would have been the dutiful first mate, responsible for the safety of the crew while the captain(s) lead us into death or glory. I can hear Thing 2 in her ‘little old man’ voice saying, “Storms a-brewin!”

Pretending the bed is a raft.
I feel like I’ve done this my entire life, only I never used that phrase until I’d seen this book. It stated simply the concept I’ve always understood.
With absolute certainty, my most fundamental belief is: When the going gets tough, get in your bed.

I’m a big fan of getting in my bed when I’m feeling…well, anything actually. I mean, obviously when I’m tired. But, I’m thinking about all the other things I feel. Emotional exhaustion, frustration, or illness. These could all be considered fancy words for depression. Some people use ice cream. I use my pillows. Because nothing comforts me like my bed.
Loneliness and heartache send me straight to my bed.
When I’m craving peace and quiet. If I’m overwhelmed or overjoyed, I take to the comfort of my bed.
That bed is my raft in the seas of all feeling.

My perfect bed is a dark wood farmhouse canopy, made with the most crisp white cotton known to man. This bed is my cocoon. I bought it to keep me safe the first time I ever lived alone. Newly separated, children part time at my home, part time at their father’s, I knew I would need a haven that made me feel safe and sound.
This bed carried me safely through the feeling seas for many years.
Sweet Izzie kitty, so grouchy with everyone but me. She would curl up next to me in that bed and her soft purring would match my breathing and we’d sleep happily together.
My girls snuggling in that cocoon with me. Thing 2 coming in every night for months with her pillow and sleeping with me. Thing 1 didn’t sleep with me that often, she’s an active sleeper, making full use of her bed. But when she came for a snuggle it would be an event.

YBW was invited into my cocoon.
He invited me into his bed, he named it serenity.
The first time I came here, we went to bed and he told me to close my eyes…when I opened them there were stars all over the ceiling. He told me on the phone that when I came to his home, I would sleep in serenity in a sea of stars. He made that happen for me. We could be together in the cocoon or in serenity and it was lovely.

When I moved here, the cocoon moved to the guest room.
We bought new mattress and foundation and I began to sleep full time in his bed. I’d lived here for almost a year when we had a little mishap and broke the bed. I fell in love with a bed and took him to see it. He agreed and the new bed came home to our room. The bed we share is a beautiful dark wood, with a very high headboard and drawers in the footboard. It is made with crisp white bedding.

When I’m in need of pretending the bed is a raft, I don’t often take to the bed I share with YBW. I’ll go to the cocoon. It’s not that that I don’t feel comfortable or safe in serenity. It’s just different. I think it’s tricky when you share a bed with someone. That bed is our shared space. Where we have conversations. Where we make love. Where we occasionally keep the other awake. The bed is lovely, especially when properly made, but it’s not a bed I’m inclined to pretend is a raft. I think it’s because it doesn’t fully belong to me.

In the old days, my bed was a place where everyone just kind of piled in and we hung out. Small children all in it together with story books or soft toys. Grown up girls doing each other’s make up. Sometimes, if they were very lucky, little girls having their make up done. It was a place for snuggles and giggles and opening birthday gifts first thing in the morning. It was a place to simply be. And to feel loved.

My sister in law’s bed is like that too. We all just go in there and pile up on the bed. Sometimes the TV is on. Sometimes there are books or computers or tablets or smartphones. Sometimes we just all get in and talk and talk. Kids, grown ups, boys, girls. It doesn’t matter. We get in her bed and without even knowing it, pretend it’s a raft. It is one of those rare places I feel nurtured without having to do the nurturing.

When my heart was freshly broken, I came to be with Sundance. Her sweet husband went to sleep elsewhere in the house so I could sleep in bed with Sundance. She helped me heal as we talked quietly in her bed. We poured each other into that bed after we’d had way too much to drink. Her bed was a raft that I didn’t have to be in alone at the lowest point in my life.

I have a friend who has the unbreakable rule that no one is allowed in his home. He never shares his bed. I sometimes wonder if he feels like his bed is a raft in a safe way, of if it’s a raft in which he drifts, lost at sea. I respect the desire for privacy. For boundaries. No one in your sacred space ensures safety, but it seems to me a lonely life.

Pretending the bed is a raft means something different to each of us. Our bed means something different to each of us.
Your bed can be a haven. Or your bed can be the place where you live your life. Your bed can be a playground for children. Or a sexual playground for adults. Your bed is a place to rest your weary head.
You can share your bed or choose not to share it.
The bed I share with YBW is the place for us to be together.
But, my bed is a sacred place. The place I feel safe and sound. It is the raft on the feeling sea.
And even though it’s now the beautiful and comfortable place for our guests to lay their heads, it will always be my cocoon. My space.
If you’ve been invited into that bed, know how much you are loved.

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doubt is being a jerk to me

faith
I came across this last night and it stuck a chord deep within me. I had to sit with it for a while before I could really process why. I dreamt about this in my sleep.

I know who Elisabeth Elliot is. I’m aware this references faith in God.
God and I had a falling out many, many years ago, and I turned my back to God. Doubt came. It was the first time in my life I doubted God, and I doubted my ass off! But God never left me. Over time, I was able to find my way back to God. Our relationship is different now than it was before, but it’s better. I have a new kind of faith. Not the faith I was taught, but the faith I earned. God and I are square.

That said, I’m realizing what rang true in me last night does’t have anything to do with God.

I’ve been struggling with who I am in this life. In this world. I’ve become distant and distracted. I’m questioning everything. Every choice I’ve made. Did I place my faith in something that isn’t what I thought it was?
I’m Gob Bluth saying, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”
And it has been eating me alive from the inside out.

I’ve pushed everything to the back burner to spend my time obsessing over this doubt. I’m actively digging up in doubt what I planted in faith. I’ve done almost nothing remotely healthy for a month. I haven’t slept well. I haven’t eaten properly. I don’t work. I just obsess. I have spent an entire month obsessing over doubt.

When Thing 2 was a small girl, and something didn’t work the way she expected it to, she would lose her patience. She’s quick to lose her patience, lose her temper. She’s a bit like her momma that way. She had a little phrase she would use. Here’s one example. If she couldn’t open the front door, she would grunt, stomp her foot and say, “The doorknob is being a jerk to me!”
She’s nineteen and still grunts and stomps her foot when she’s angry or frustrated.
I’m forty five and I grunt and stomp my foot when I’m angry or frustrated.
You know what they say about the apple and the tree…
We are what we are.

I share this story because I want to say, “Doubt is being a jerk to me!”
Doubt really kind of is being a jerk to me.
Actually, I think doubt is being a jerk to faith. But faith isn’t sticking up for itself. That means I have to stick up for faith. Which is much harder than it sounds. It’s hard to want to stick up for something that you think duped you.
But you see, that’s what faith actually is. Believing when there’s no ‘real’ reason to believe. I forgot that. I let doubt come to the party. Um…I let doubt throw the party. I’m kind of over this party.
My mom used to say, “This party’s getting rough. I’m going to get my undies and go home.” She was a curious woman, but she made a fair point. So, I guess me and my undies are leaving doubt’s party. (I feel the need to state for the record that I made the choice to use bad grammar.)

I don’t know how to reconcile what’s going on inside me. But I know that it’s time to send doubt packing. I’m going to pull a Jenna Marbles on doubt and tell it to “Pipe the f**k down!”
Once I get rid of doubt then I can pay attention to faith. Which might actually be trickier than kicking doubt to the curb.
I don’t really want to pay attention to faith. Faith hurt my feelings. Faith frightened me. Faith rocked me to my core. Hmm. Seems as though faith is being a jerk to me too.
Faith and I going to have to get it together. I’m not quite sure how we’re going to do that. What I do know is that I can’t dig up in doubt what I planted in faith.
That means I have to keep believing.
I must have faith no matter how difficult it is to believe. I mustn’t listen to doubt no matter how lovely it sounds.

Perhaps I’ve gone about this all wrong? Putting my faith in other things…
Perhaps I must have faith in myself. Trust that I made all the right decisions that led me to where I am in this life, this world. Believe that faith is stronger than doubt. Believe that I was built on a sturdy enough foundation that I can reconcile faith and doubt without getting lost in the weeds. (Mixed metaphors much?)
It’s easy to say that. It’s even easy to know that. It’s in the doing that it becomes tricky. But I know from tricky. I’m a mom. I’m an Auntie. I’m an early childhood educator. Tricky is in my wheelhouse.

To faith I say, “Bring it!”
To doubt I say, “Pipe the f**k down.”
To God I say, “Thanks for having my back.”
To me I say, “Get it together.”

I know I can balance doubt and faith. I simply have to try. You know what Yoda said about trying…but I haven’t even been trying. I’ve been obsessing. I’ve been swimming in doubt so long my fingers are all pruney. Time to get out and dry off.
Gotta shake it up. Get out of my head.
I’m going to remember to believe. Remember that faith falters, but that’s just doubt trying to throw a party. Faith is still there, just like God was.
Perhaps I need to do it the same way…find my way back to faith and make a better, stronger kind of faith. Not blind faith, not faith on the word of others. But a new kind of faith. One that I earned.
Hey, if it worked for God and me, making it work for my life should be a cake walk, right?
Stay tuned…

If you don’t know Arrested Development…well that makes me sad for you. It’s on Netflix. Check it out.
Will Arnett as Gob Buth:
gob

Thing 2 and her friend Jordan introduced me to Jenna Marbles. She uses foul language profusely, but I adore this concept of ‘people that need to pipe the f**k down’.

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Summer Slam ’16 (a mixtape)

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I made a new mix.
Turned out a little differently than I originally expected.
It started with Alexi Murdoch…a soft, slow, sad sounding song. (Gah! Accidental alliteration!)
Then it grew…and fleshed out a bit. I’m still not sure it’s quite right. But I’ve been listening to it for the last three days straight, and either I can no longer hear the flaws in the mix…or it’s flawless.
Either way, enjoy!
It’s tentatively titled “Roby’s Summer Slam ’16” (even though it’s not terribly “slammy”)
Please listen responsibly.

Smile
Tori Vasquez
Tori is a girl from Texas that opened for Blue October when I saw them two years ago. Girlie Thing and I like her song “Bitch Switch”, it’s our little Auntie-Niece thing. I like the lyrics. I love when Tori scats.
This is from her debut album Go Thank Yourself.

And She Was
Talking Heads
Little Creatures was the first album I ever bought with my own money in my own hands. I wore it out. I still love it more than thirty years later.
This song has always reminded me of Thing 1. She’s kind of dreamy like this song.

Punch This Heart of Mine
Skipping Girl Vinegar
Melbourne based band I totally heart, named for “Little Audrey” the Skipping Girl sign.

Details: Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Exposure: 3 exposures (-2,0,+2 EV) Aperture: f/18 Focal Length: 190mm ISO Speed: 100 Accessories: Manfrotto 190XB Tripod, Manfrotto 322RC2 Heavy Duty Grip Ball Head, Canon RC1 Wireless Remote Date and Time: 16 January 2010 8.57pm Post Processing: Imported into Lightroom Exported 3 exposures to Photomatix Tonemap generated HDR using detail enhancer option Opened HDR in CS3 Contrast adjustment Unsharp mask filter Imported into Lightroom Cropped in Lightroom Added keyword metadata Exported as JPEG From Wikipedia: The Skipping Girl Sign or Skipping Girl Vinegar Sign, originally known as Little Audrey, is possibly the first animated neon sign in Australia, located in Victoria Street in the inner Melbourne suburb of Abbotsford. The sign is a painted metal structure depicting a little girl skipping rope. At night it is outlined in neon, and the rope lights up in four positions in sequence giving the appearance of skipping. It was erected at the Nycander factory on 627 Victoria Street in 1936 to advertise their "Skipping Girl" brand of vinegar, and was immediately popular, and became a well loved landmark. The sign was removed in 1968 when the factory was demolished, and following a public outcry, a smaller version was built in 1970 and placed on the roof of the 1930s Crusader Plate factory nearby at 651 Victoria Street. The 1970 version was listed by the National Trust (Victoria) in 2000, about the same time the sign ceased operating. In May 2008, an appeal was launched for public donations to restore the sign by AGL, the National Trust (Victoria), the Heritage Council of Victoria, the Melbourne Restoration Fund, 'Friends of Audrey', the public and the Skipping Girl owners representative, Spring & Parks Pty Ltd.


The Great Wave.
I love this entire album, but this song is fun and I like the idea that love punches you in your heart…cause it’s kind of true.

Doing it to Death
The Kills
Y’all’ve already seen this one. But it’s on the mix, so you can watch again.
This is from their new album Ash & Ice.
Love Love love Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince. (Sour Cherry is my all time fave Kills song.)

Immigrant Punk
Gogol Bordello
From the album Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike. I got this album from Thing 2. She has very eclectic musical tastes. She comes by it honestly and then she tweaked it to fit herself.
Interestingly enough, this is YBW’s favorite song on the mix.
I just think it’s fun.

Finger Back
Vampire Weekend
From Modern Vampires of the City. This song is catchy, as are all their songs, but there are underlying statements being made. The song was written about friends of the band, and the trouble others had with their relationship.

Cold Hands (Warm Heart)
Brendan Benson
From my absolute favorite of Brendan’s albums, The Alternative to Love.
The entire ablum is perfection. I chose this one because…well I just like it.

River-Sea-Ocean
Badly Drawn Boy
Badly Drawn Boy (Damon Michael Gough) created the soundtrack for the movie based on Nick Hornby’s book of the same name, About a Boy. I’ve loved this album since I saw the movie in 2002. I can’t recommend it enough…it really tells a story, you should listen to it from start to finish if you can…and see the movie!

Northern Sky
Nick Drake
From his Bryter Layter album, released the year I was born. I adore this man’s music. It is my “go to” playlist. The lyrics! His voice! Oh I just adore him! The opening line of the song is: Never felt magic crazy as this. How perfect is that?

Through the Dark
Alexi Murdoch
A desperate love song from his album Towards the Sun. I think it’s lovely.

Amber’s Song
Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam
A very cool guy shared this band with me. I love love love Davy Knowles voice. I love their bluesy sound. Listen to them, then listen again. No song will disappoint. This is from their album, Coming up for Air.

Umpqua Rising
Blind Pilot
Brand new album from this band. And Then Like Lions.
My all time favorite song of theirs is called Paint or Pollen. The instrumental version was played as the recessional for our wedding in October. The new album has so much promise! Releases tomorrow! Pick it up, you won’t be sad.

Scream (Funk My Life Up)
Paolo Nutini
I love me some Paolo! He’s kind of like the boy version of me. A little bit sassy, a little bit sexy, a little bit naughty. Well behaved enough to get by, but always out for a good time. This is from his third album, Caustic Love.
My favorite song of his is called New Shoes. Perhaps Paolo is my spirit animal…

Bitch
Plastiscines
From the album About Love.
These French girls don’t mess around. The first line is: I’m a bitch when I brush my teeth. I discovered them on my guilty pleasure tv show, Gossip Girl. They were the band at Cotillion episode 9, “They Shoot Humphrey’s Don’t They?” in season 3. (originally aired November 9, 2009)
I think the song is fun…I think every girl is a bitch sometimes. I’m a bitch when I paint my lips.

I Get Along
The Libertines
I’ve shared this one with you before. I love this song!
I get along singing my song, people tell me I’m wrong…f**k ’em. It might be my anthem.
This is from Up the Bracket, their debut album. Carl and Pete and the guys have been through hell and back together and now that Pete is clean, they’re making music again. Yay!

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