The economy’s in a slump, it’s the dead of winter, the television is
littered with the daily demise of former hearthrobs and bombshells, and
our president is rumoured to be back on the sauce. What better time in
your life could you spend watching live music videos to
self-medicate and zone out? Anyway, Scott and I have jumped the band
wagon by documenting our acoustic sessions on my pink Flip. Deemed to
be orgasmic at points of my performance, I may have to amend my “fake
sponsor” from AT&T to K-Y.
So, this is me, raw and rough
with just a guitar to back my voice. Spread the link around, if you
love it, and if you don’t enjoy it, keep it to yourself and stick to
watching those videos where monkeys urinate in their own mouths and
kids ignite themselves on fire in the family garage. That brand of
talent I’ve yet to acquire. And if you must throw stones, let them be
bundled in grammatical perfection and typo-free All that cruel,
poorly-formulated YouTube bashing really gets on my nerves. I’m
prepared, as according to this link http://www.myspace.com/chainedbydreams, I am
in fact the “sh*ttiest singer in the world.” That kind of accolaide
Okay, at last: slighty
orgasmic, entirely acoustic, and brought to you by AT&T-Porcelain
I love Annie Lennox. Her latest album, “Songs of Mass Destruction” has been blasting in my home since it first came out. Recently she was dropped from Sony, after three weeks of her unreturned phone calls to the label. I always wanted to be signed to Sony as a kid, but that singular act and the way the music industry is today… well it’s dropped pretty low on my aspiration list. But, to be able to speak about my passions and beliefs so freely, to overcome the self-doubt and self-criticism she had for years and prevail- well, that’s something to aspire to. Her first instrument was a flute, which was mine as well, and we managed to incorporate in my latest song, “The Vineyard.”
This morning, at long last, the new love of my life arrived: the Casio Privia. I know I promised to divorce Casio as my brand, but I was won over by this digital piano on my trip to Manny’s Music last week. As I went downstairs to claim the oversized box, dreading the trek up five flights and my spiral staircase, I was met with the UPS guy and a man doing construction below my apartment. He offered to help me, then insisted on lugging the cumbersome box all the way upstairs. I think his efforts were partly out of guilt from the deafening noises coming from the apartment below me, where he and his amigo are working on re-wiring electric. My gratitude for his assistance just drowns out all the noisy labour as I bang on my new friend in bliss.
I got the 200-model, even cooler
I’m just finishing my first viewing of “Ratatouille” and I couldn’t have watched it at a more appropriate time. I’ve come to firmly believe that every person can be seen as either a creator or a critic. Being someone who once hid my talents and aspirations, in favour of using my intellect to criticize the works of others, I’ve come to realize that over the past few years I’ve fully embraced my path as an artist.
And to quote the critic in Ratatouille, “We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.”
I’ll remember that the next time I’m criticized by someone who prefers to assault, rather than create. Who would’ve thought a movie about a rat would be so reflective of my own path as one of the “new” artists finding my voice? But uttering that statement is borderline critical… inspiration has no boundaries.
I grew up poor; a product of two young people who were incredibly in love, but yet too young and inexperienced to know what they had gotten themselves into. I grew up in a trailer park, but I thought it was paradise. Social classes were irrelevant to me. My grandmother was my life force, a woman full of pride and integrity. She instilled in me this sense of grandeur and accomplishment one might see in the faded heroine of a Tennessee Williams play. But coming from such poverty herself, she adapted a persona that suffocated the squalor of her childhood. It must have ignited something within me.
When she died, Bette Midler, as I’ve mentioned, became my surrogate mother and mentor. This was another woman who came from a struggling, working class existence and managed to reach stardom and wealth. She was the Cinderella-icon of my early years. I worked through school, and got a free ride through college based on my academics. It wasn’t Harvard, as some ivy-league graduates rub into my face, but it was an education and judging the scholastic achievements of my family… it was a huge advance. My grandfather never made it past the fifth grade. My father received an associate’s degree from a tech school. It amazes me that the people who have shamed my own education, in spite of finishing my Bachelor’s in two years, will discuss the lack of stamina it took to overcome. It was, and still is, a big deal when reflecting on my upbringing.
This past week was a dark reflection of the word of “grandeur” and “intelligence” that surrounds me on a weekly basis. Somehow, I’ve inherited an immunity to these circles as I dig deeper and question the intentions of everyone involved. I’ve met royalty and decisions makers, dined with some of the wealthiest people in the world (we’re talking billionaires), been hit on by executives and celebrities and all these people that have “made it.” Yet, when I look in their eyes as they try to reach out and earn my respect, I see the same depth of loneliness and yearning for acceptance that I see on the faces of the homeless saxophone player on the 1-train or the five-year-old kid from the ‘hood trying to sell me a pack of peanut M&M’s. Perhaps, it’s the salt of the earth way I was raised, but all these accolades mean little to me. Does that money buy them happiness? Did attending Oxford and Yale really afford them an insight and intellectual depth that couldn’t otherwise be achieved? Maybe, for some of them. Money would certainly buy me the tools to create more happiness (like a room full of hammonds and Wurlitzers facing Central Park West in a private recording studio). Yet, in the long run, it all matters so little.
If someone cannot truly connect with his or her self, then there’s not a chance in hell that they’re going to connect with me. I’ve been offered trips to London and Africa and beyond, been bought luxurious items that would bring tears to my mother’s eyes (although, she’s always been hypersensitive), and been offered opportunities that a girl in my position should really be thrilled to receive. Grateful as I may be, I’m much happier to plow my own road in this life. The very few and rare people that I let into my very close and trusted circle are those who really see me. Not the fantasy, or the classified example of what will be yet another trophy on their shelves.
Money, pride, extravagance, and luxuries may have their worth somewhere, but life experiences and vulnerability and compassion and a humble acknowledgement that there is so much more to learn are the true cornerstones to being accepted in my world. I have no interest in validating the insecure, ego-driven honchos of the 21st century. As far as I’m concerned, they can kiss my ass. And the dude I’m going to marry someday… well he’ll be someone with a depth that far exceeds the monetary, or the need to appease me. He’ll push my limits and encourage me to go above and beyond. He’ll be the type to think “outside the box,” but be too creative and intertwined in his methods to ever use such a term.
As for the rest of these dudes, often work related, and often socially-intertwined. Well, I couldn’t care less.
Actually, my friend in LA began the trend of asking me for my gripe of
the day. Since this is the first implenetation into my blog, I’m going
to offer more than one gripe because it’s my blog and I have a sense of
entitlement to do that. Feel free to add a comment about your own gripe
of the day.
1. When the weather forecast calls for a massive
amount of snow, I get entirely excited to awaken to a vista of clean,
pure white snow, and I see nothing but puddles leftover from rain.
I cannot stand when people who are the most sensitive people I know are
so focused on their own emotions, that they have no idea how their own
criticism affects others. By the way, I can be this very person I gripe
about from time to time.
3. I hate the idea of dating.
Confessions of a Serial Dater could be a title for my social experiments in New York and
someday I will write a screenplay about it. It would put Carrie
Bradshaw to shame.
4. I cannot stand when a man, or sometimes a
woman, when having a conversation with me about our own personal
dealings, will utter the words to me, “Well, it’s not personal.”
Really, that’s brilliant. What is it? A business transaction
(coincidentally, tends to be personal in my field anyway)? Is it a
contract negotiation? Is it a doctoral thesis about the socioeconomic
benefits of creating more urban parks? Is it a commercial for ING
Direct? So long as the person uttering it is saying it to another
person about how they feel then it is personal. I have heard
this so many times that the dendrites in my body could emit electric
signals with enough voltage to light the entire city of New York for a
New York minute and then some.
5. I don’t like when someone I
barely know tries to get into my personal space, no matter how
comfortable they may feel in the moment, I like my space. I regard it
highly. I am not a domesticated animal, I am not a plush toy (by the way. my
pal Josh got me an FAO Schwartz bear for Christmas and I never realized
how great it is to have a bear. Even if my cat gets jealous.) Because I
am not a domesticated animal, or a plush toy, or even a stress ball, I
really like to take a lot of time before being felt up like one.
The sound of my Casio has gotten so aggravating that I’m actually going
to the store right now and looking for a new one. This has been one of
the crappiest financial months of my life. Amen for the recession that
all the candidates say hasn’t hit yet. And to attest to my own faith
that I will be a rich rockstar, and this is my path in life, I’m
finally getting something I’ve wanted for years.
This is entirely unrelated but to counteract all my bitching, these are my happy thoughts of the day.
1. If I were running for president, I would want my theme song to be “Witchy Woman” by the Eagles.
I wish I were a guy, so that it would make more sense to add “Sister
Golden Hair” to my setlist. Maybe I will anyway. It’ll just be
3. I saw “The Bucket List” and will be posting a scan
of my own bucket list. I actually vowed to make out with Nick Nolte
before one of us dies. I’m beginning to question that one. However,
when I enter the gates of Heaven, I want to be greeted by all my pets,
my grandmother, Ms. Maureen, and whoever passed before me to the sounds
of WCBS-FM and I want to be ushered to a Bosendorfer with black keys
speckled with gold (like I had in a dream), with Stevie Nicks sitting
on the bench asking me to join her. And there will be red wine, purple
spotlights, scarves, and the whole lot of greeters can join us around
the piano. Apparently, only 4 percent of the population wants to know
the day they will die in advance. I’ve always enjoyed being part of the
minority. Also, if souls come in colours, well then mine is definitely
4. I someday want to have sex to Benny and the Jets on
repeat. I’m stealing this idea from a movie, but it just came onto
CBS-FM and frankly, it makes me happy.
5. I saw Juno last night
and loved it. How could I not relate to a music-loving,
sarcastic-to-the-extreme, sixteen year old girl who falls in love with
the dorky boy? Although, I never got knocked up. It must be my distaste
for premature squeezing and fondling.
6. Snow will come at some point this week and I have made my peace with winter. I’ve even gone ice skating. I love ice skating.
God Bless this gal. Thankfully, no one has moved into the recently vacated apartment below me. I’ve been skipping, dancing, and going nuts to this song all weekend. Particularly today. The updated recording is fully produced, and I recommend it to all. I promise the next song I write is going to be so upbeat that rainbows will sprout from my head upon performing. Now how’s that for keeping true to my 1976 ideals?
The first biographical term paper I ever wrote was on Hillary Clinton in the eighth grade. I didn’t choose her because she was a standout role model or icon for me. Raised by a conservative Republican family, who abhorred the Clintons, I certainly did not come from a stand point of admiration or respect. Before writing this term paper, I could only point out her flaws and reflect on the negative words hurled at her by men and women in my family; derogatory terms insulting her appearance or personality that are reserved for women and never thrown at men. These words and phrases resurface with the current elections, but only in her direction. No male candidate is called bitchy, or uptight, or mocked for their clothing and wrinkles, or for being too ambitious or calculating.
When I was 13, working on this term paper, I read all of “It Takes A Village,” and delved into a history of a woman that reminded me of myself. Like me, she came from a struggling middle-class Republican home. An overachiever, her academic pursuits and accomplishments afforded her new opportunities. I love my mother, and find it admirable that she sacrificed a career to raise a family and stay home. Yet, my mother is against Hillary, thinking that she doesn’t represent women because she is too ambitious and condescending to those women who stayed home instead of having careers. Yet, I asked my mother to consider this one notion… what woman who represents my mother’s demographic could possibly run for President and stand a chance? Betty Crocker? It takes those kinds of sacrifices to build a career that leads to a White House run.
I’m a firm supporter of most of her ideas and obviously it’s nearly impossible for this country to be in worse hands than the past eight years. I can’t help though, but wonder why women are divided and say “any woman but that woman.” The animosity as I’ve seen first hand, in my family, is not from knowing Hillary’s beliefs or agenda, but feeling threatened in the same way the feminist movement threatened women in the ’70s.
I’m standing behind Hillary with my support and hope women will unite to champion her. Imagine opening the newspapers, and instead of focusing on Britney’s latest meltdown, or another woman objectifying herself in some compromising photo, you see a female leader who is changing the tide of this country’s legacy of being ruled by men. To me, the thought of it restores a faith in women being capable and aspiring to more than emulating another crash-and-burn blonde bombshell in Tinseltown. This country, and world, needs some female role models with convictions and a work ethic like Hillary Clinton.
Scott, being the genius and awesome producer/motivator he is, sent the
following to me. I haven’t read The Alchemist in some time, but what a
great read it is. I had a conversation over the weekend that validated
everything that I already knew but hadn’t worded so articulately. I’ve
always been one of those annoying people who works hard and could excel
at anything in school. Because of that I always knew I could bust ass
at Goldman Sachs or become an incredible corporate attorney or the best
high school teacher… something everyone should believe- anything is
possible if you put your mind to it. In this conversation, this wise
chap revealed to me, “You could be successful and at the top of the
field in anything you aim for, but if it’s not being successful in what
you want, then you would still be a failure. It’s better to fail at
doing what you love and learn and eventually succeed.”
If any of
ya’ll need some inspiration in this new year, 1976, feel free to read
below. I hope you’re all in the quest for your personal legend. If
everyone could focus on knowing their own self and legend better, this
world would be a better place.
What is a personal legend?
By Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist
remember receiving a letter from the American publisher, Harper
Collins, which said that: “reading The Alchemist was like getting up at
dawn and seeing the sun rise while the rest of the world still slept.”
I went outside, looked up at the sky and thought to myself: “So, the
book is going to be translated!” At the time, I was struggling to
establish myself as a writer and to follow my path despite all the
voices telling me it was impossible.
And little by little,
my dream was becoming reality. Ten, a hundred, a thousand, a million
copies sold in America. One day, a Brazilian journalist phoned to say
that President Clinton had been photographed reading the book. Some
time later, when I was in Turkey, I opened the magazine Vanity Fair and
there was Julia Roberts declaring that she adored the book. Walking
alone down a street in Miami, I heard a girl telling her mother: “You
must read The Alchemist!” People ask me: What’s the secret behind such
a huge success? The only honest response is: I don’t know. All I know
is that, like Santiago the shepherd, everyone needs to be aware of
their Personal Legend. What is a Personal Legend? It is God’s blessing,
it is the path that God chose for you here on Earth. Whenever someone
does something that fills them with enthusiasm, they are following
their Legend. However, not everyone has the courage to confront their
There are four obstacles. First:
they are told from childhood onwards that everything they want to do is
impossible. They grow up with this idea, and as the years accumulate,
so too do the layers of prejudice, fear and guilt. There comes a time
when their Personal Legend is so deeply buried in their soul as to be
invisible. But it’s still there.
If they have the courage
to disinter their dream, they are then faced by the second obstacle:
love. They know what they want to do, but are afraid of hurting those
around them by abandoning everything in order to pursue their dream.
They do not realize that love is just a further impetus, not something
that will prevent them going forwards. They do not realize that those
who genuinely wish them well want them to be happy and are prepared to
accompany them on that journey.
Once they have accepted that
love is a stimulus, they come up against the third obstacle: fear of
the defeats they will meet on the path. Anyone who fights for their
dream, suffers far more when it doesn’t work out, because they cannot
fall back on the old excuse: “Oh, well, I didn’t really want it
anyway.” They do want it and know that they have staked everything on
it and that the path of the Personal Legend is no easier than any other
path, except that their whole heart is in this journey. Then, the
warrior of light must be prepared to have patience in difficult times
and to know that the Universe is conspiring in his favour, even though
he may not understand how.
I ask myself: are defeats necessary?
necessary or not, they happen. When someone first begins fighting for
their dream, they have no experience and make many mistakes. The secret
of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.
So, why is it so important to live one’s Personal Legend if we are only going to suffer more than other people?
once we have overcome the defeats – and we always do – we are filled by
a greater sense of euphoria and confidence. In the silence of our
hearts, we know that we are proving ourselves worthy of the miracle of
life. Each day, each hour, is part of the Good Fight. We start to live
with enthusiasm and pleasure. Intense, unexpected suffering passes more
quickly than suffering that is apparently bearable; the latter goes on
for years and, without our noticing, eats away at our soul, until, one
day, we are no longer able to free ourselves from the bitterness and it
stays with us for the rest of our lives.
disinterred our dream, having used the power of love to nurture it and
spent many years living with the scars, we suddenly notice that what we
always wanted is there, waiting for us, perhaps the very next day. Then
comes the fourth obstacle: the fear of realizing the dream for which we
fought all our lives.
Oscar Wilde said: ‘each man kills
the thing he loves’. And it’s true. The mere possibility of getting
what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look
around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that
we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget about all the
obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we
had to give up in order to get this far. I have known a lot of people
who, when their Personal Legend was within their grasp, went on to
commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal – when
it was only a step away.
This is the most dangerous of
the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it:
renouncing joy and conquest. But if you believe yourself worthy of the
thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God,
you help the Soul of the World and you understand why you are here.
What a gem to find on youtube.com. This is one of my favourite songs because it’s so blunt and to the point. Carly Simon, to me, is truly one of the sexiest women of all time, even losing her voice during this performance, she rocks. <br><br><center><br><br>