Sunday, December 30, 2012


Every year Leanne over at From Chaos Comes Happiness chooses a word instead of a resolution to live her New Year by, and that makes more sense to me than resolutions.  I just about always break those.  For the last couple of years I haven't been so great with my words, either, but I have at least tried to hold them close to my heart as Talismans.  Last year I chose two: The Art of Allowing and Grace.  I readily admit that I fumbled with both often enough, but I did try to remember these two things when life did its thing.

As everyone is well aware, a new year is rolling around, and that means it is time to dig out a new word to embrace it.

Having thought long and hard about this, I have settled upon SHINE.  We have no control over outside forces, all we can do is shine with what we are given.  Given that outside forces always seem to be changing, challenging, and are completely outside our circumstance, just letting go of that is a good place to begin.  Accepting that the internal stuff is where you have the ability to make the difference and exert some change of your own.  And SHINE.

For those who are interested, I actually settled on this word when I was listening to this song.  We all have choices.  One of them is shining.

images found at

Friday, December 28, 2012

Everybody knows where we're going.

Ironically, while I loved this song when it first came out, I hated this video.  I didn't get it.  I didn't want to see what they were trying to say.  Now I see.  It's funny how that happens.

All the right friends in all the right places
So yeah, we're going down
They've got
All the right moves in all the right faces
So yeah, we're going down

Let's paint the picture
Of the perfect place
They've got it better then when anyone's told ya
They'll be the King of Hearts, and you're the Queen of Spades
Then we'll fight for you like we were your soldiers
I know we got it good, but they got it made,
And their grass is getting greener each day,
I know things are looking up, but soon they'll take us down,
Before anybody's knowing our name

They've got...

All the right friends in all the right places
So yeah, we're going down
They've got
 All the right moves in all the right faces
So yeah, we're going down
They say
Everybody knows, everybody knows where we're going
Yeah, we're going down
They say
 Everybody knows, everybody knows where we're going
Yeah, we're going down

 Do you think I'm special?
 Do you think I'm nice?
 Am I bright enough to shine in your spaces?
 Between the noise you hear, and the sounds you like
Are we just sinking the ocean of faces?
It can't be possible... the rain can fall
Only when it's over our heads.
 The sun is shining everyday, but it's far away.
Over the world that's dead.

 They've got, they've got...

 All the right friends in all the right places
So yeah, we're going down
They've got
 All the right moves in all the right faces
 So yeah, we're going down [Repeat]

They say
 Everybody knows, everybody knows where we're going
 Yeah, we're going down
 They say
Everybody knows, everybody knows where we're going
Yeah, we're going down

It don't matter what you see I know I could never be
 Someone that'll look like you.
It don't matter what you say I know I could never fake
Someone that could sound like you.

 All the right friends in all the right places
So yeah, we're going down
They've got
All the right moves in all the right faces
So yeah, we're going down [Repeat]
They say
Everybody knows, everybody knows where we're going
Yeah, we're going down
They say
Everybody knows, everybody knows where we're going
Yeah, we're going down
Yeah, we're going down [repeat x2]
All the right moves... heeey
Yeah we're going down
They say
All the right moves... heeey
Yeah we're going down

So, what do you think? Love it? Hate it? Did they paint the picture? What did you see? Are we going down?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I'll take the sunshine.

It has been a little bit chaotic here in Robin Land.

You might not have noticed, but I haven't really posted a blog in a while.  It has just been too overwhelming.  We moved again.  I know.  That is crazy, isn't it?  Moving sucks.

However, things happened with my mom and stepdad and they decided to separate and my mom and I really wanted to move back to Florida.  So, we did.  And, after several trips down and looking at a LOT of houses.  And I do mean a LOT.  There were several trips back home when we found nothing and I felt so discouraged by the entire process.   Can anyone relate here???  Anyway, when we finally found THE HOUSE, it was such a relief.  We closed and moved on Nov. 30.  So, we it feels like we have been doing nothing but packing and unpacking for a very long time.

In fact, we are still unpacking.  It does feel a bit endless.

Anyway, I have been trying to read and comment on blogs.  I try to read.  I don't always comment.  Sometimes I do.  Sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I miss a day of reading.  It has been a bit of hit and miss.

There is other stuff going on (isn't there always???), but I will save it for my next blog.  I want to have something to write about!

image found at

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Do you know how to catch wild pigs?

There was a chemistry professor in large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student,who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt. The professor asked the young man what was the matter.  The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back.

He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist regime. In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked: "Do you know how to catch wild pigs?"

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said that it was no joke.

"You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence."

"They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught."

"Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity."

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in America. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc., while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.

One should always remember two truths: There is no such thing as a free lunch, and you can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

Quote: "The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living." ~Anonymous

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I don't know this place.

Simon & Garfunkel started looking for America back in the '60s.  They woke up and it felt different, smelled different, looked different, and they got on the bus to find it.  There was something in the air.  They didn't know this place.  And they had this revelation that they weren't the only ones.  A cultural shift was happening.  Their America was disappearing.  And now it is totally gone.  I'm with these guys.  I don't know this place.  But, I am beginning to see how it happened.   Do you see the puzzle pieces?  This is a gradual breakdown decades in the making.  But, I repeat: I don't know this place. This isn't MY America.  I only wish I could hop a bus, buy a ticket, and get to where I want to go.  My America.

"As in geology, so in social institutions, we may discover the causes of all past changes in the present invariable order of society." ~Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Picking up where I left off with yesterday's theme of HERE'S TO YOU in a very general sort of way. Let's just get on with it, shall we? And if you missed out on yesterday's fun, it is still there, so check it out!

Click on this link because it won't embed.

image found on facebook.... naturally

Monday, December 10, 2012


Do ever just need a little pick-me-up?  I do.

Truthfully, a HERE'S TO YOU post would have been the perfect remedy, but they can be a bit of work all on their own... and require prep and forethought.  I can't get a Quick Fix from one of those.  I have to decide to do it about a week ahead of time and then begin active planning and reading and taking notes.  It is a *process* here.  Then, I start looking for footage on youtube.  It can take hours to find just the right video.  Or minutes.  You just don't know.  So, when I decided Yesterday that a Fix was in order, I needed ::variation:: on my HERE'S TO YOU post.  There was no way I could get one of those launched anytime soon.

Instead, I asked myself this question: "What youtube do I want to watch?  What would make me feel better?  What would give me a little boost, put a little pep in my step, a smile on my face, or maybe even bring a bit of a tear to my eye?  What stuff would I like to remember with fondness?"  The answer for me was 80s movies.  I freakin' love 80s movies.  I might have one early, early 90s movie thrown in there Just Because.  But mostly 80s movies.  Some are scenes.  Some are songs set to scenes.  Whatever.  A lot of dancing.  Why?  Because dancing is fun to watch.  Makes your heart sing a little bit.  It is the body's way to express music.  Dance is a very natural way to express yourself and your love for sound.

Well, as you can imagine, once I got rolling with this project I ended up with TWO days worth of material.  So, this is just Round One.  I hope you enjoy the watching as much as I did.  And I hope you walk away just a little bit lighter than you came in.

image found on facebook...shocking!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Is That A TV on Your Head or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

I really have too much going on right now to actively write this blog.  I will get back to it once things settle down.  However... that doesn't mean I am not trying to read YOUR blogs.  I don't always have time to comment like I should.... I am in a time *crunch* here, but I do comment when I can.

However, I would like to take a moment to let you in on my friend JJ's new blog.  It is a political blog.  Yeah, it is NOT for everyone.  If you are currently eating up what all of the current media is selling, this blog will probably not be for you.  However, if you watch the news and alarm bells sound, something seems off, the numbers don't add up, it all just really doesn't make sense, you don't see how they keep adding things up and getting numbers that don't actually crunch...  Well, then you are ready to get down to it, take a closer look at what is actually going on, discuss the issues like adults.  Yes, this blog is for adults who are interested in intellectual discourse.  There is no name calling here.  There really is no blaming one party or another here.  There is simply an acknowledgment that the government that was created by our Founding Fathers is failing.

We can pretend that it isn't happening.  Or can we talk about what is really going on in order to arrive at solutions to save YOU and ME.  If you are interested in THAT, go visit Politics for the Average American.

image found on facebook... shocking!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

This is so junior high school

People keep taking me by surprise.  And I really don't know why that is.  I sort of feel like Julia Roberts' character in Pretty Woman minus all the hooker stuff and Richard Gere.  Well, and the money.  Okay, it's pretty much the fact that she was living a rough life and no one and nothing should have surprised her but she was actually really naive.  Richard Gere's character says something like, "It's just that people rarely surprise me," when he finds her in the bathroom flossing.  He thinks she is doing drugs and is all set to throw her out.  And she says, "They constantly surprise the crap out of me."  And you scratch your head, silently thinking, "What????"  And then you realize that it is true.  She really is that hopeful about people... still.  Frankly, I don't know how she managed.  She was dealing with people who were paying for sex for three years up close and personal. 

I have been on facebook for two years and I have about hit my limit.  No one has paid me for anything, but I have seen more than I care to, and I find it more than a little disturbing.  I watched one friend live in fear of posting anything political on her page for the duration of this election, because she didn't want to be attacked by her "friends."  She watched one friend after another post anything remotely conservative on their pages, and one of her high school friends tore into them like a rabid dog.  She said it was terrifying to watch.  I said that it was okay not to post.  Just don't do it.  However, by election day she had enough, found her voice, and posted a few things she saw going on.  She didn't go crazy with it.  Just voiced HER OPINION ON HER PAGE.  And it was a feeding frenzy.  Said "friend" cut loose on her.  Even after this person please asked for no negative comments aimed at her personally.  Anything said about the candidates was fair game.  That didn't stop this person.  She attacked my friend personally.  So she got unfriended.  And then that person called her out on her page and all of these people my friend thought were her friends started attacking her personally.  It was like junior high school on facebook.  Only so much meaner.  And then it got even worse.  I really can't even go on. 

Fast forward to yesterday.  One of my high school "friends" left this comment on my wall.  "Sorry Robin. The elections over and we have to live with the voter's votes. I have grown weary of your right wing posts. I like you and want to stay your friend.... I silently was polite for 8 years of a Bush presidency. We will get through the next 4 years too. - I am hiding most of your posts but I don't want to cut you off totally. We still have things in common. Struggling." 

Well, huh.  We went back and forth a couple of times.  I pretty much left it like this:  "If you need to click on my posts in the wall feed and hide them that is fine with me. If you need to unfriend me that is okay, too. I will respect you for your decision. Whatever you do."  The last comment I left was about having to leave because we are on vacation, and I would either see her later, or I wouldn't.  And then I left.  And I didn't really think about it again for several hours.  But when I did, I was not happy about it.  Why?  Because she posted it on my wall and we have  A LOT of mutual friends.  We went to high school together.  I would have felt very differently had she sent it in a private email.  The more I thought about it, the more it felt like posting it on the wall was an invite for everyone to get in the public smackdown.  It felt very much like being in junior high school again.  

The irony with this particular friend is that when she posted something about voting for Obama she put it up almost with an apology.   I commented on her post that Freedom of Speech is one of our most important rights.  It is a right given to us by the First Amendment.  Never be afraid to speak your mind or voice your opinion if you are speaking what is in your heart.  I knew that she knew my views.  I told her that I might not agree with what she has to say, but I would fight to the death for her RIGHT TO SAY IT.  And then she turns around and basically tells me that I better shut the f*ck up or we won't friends.  She said it nicer than that, but it essentially came down to that.  And she posted it on my wall hoping that some of our friends would hop on for a Hatefest, which I am happy to say hasn't happened yet.  Probably because she hasn't posted it in her status... yet.  She did do that to one of our former classmates.  So, there is still time.

Some of you who might read this blog are facebook friends who share differing opinions.  You know who you are.  And we have honored and respected one another simply by not responding to one another's posts about these issues.  I believe that to be the correct course.   That is how we continue to get along.  I think that our friendship is based on mutual respect.  

And I know that a true friend would never go to someone's page and say to someone, "I am really sick of hearing about your "fill in the blank," so if you don't knock it off, I am afraid I am going to have to unfriend you."  Let's try a few words for that "blank" just so that we get a clearer picture: family, God, religion, cancer, migraines, fibromyalgia, politics, music, money troubles, homeless people, dogs/cats who need adopting, dogs/cats who are about to be euthanized, your church, your relationship (be it good or bad), your job (be it good or bad), your lack of a job.  Man this list could go on forever.  Whatever.  

I used to think that social media was a wonderful thing.  Yay.  A way to connect with people.  Now, I am not so sure.  I have seen the harm of social bullying on Facebook.  But it has got nothing on Twitter.  Twitter rules as the Social Networking Bully.  As such, Twitter seems appropriately named.  It is people just vomiting up every thought they have....from a bunch of twits. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

For My Weary Heart

There is so much BIG stuff going on right now.  In the world at large.  And even in my tiny little world.  It feels like this enormous weight and pressure.  Do you feel it, too?

Last week, at the end of Grey's Anatomy, they had a song playing softly in the background, underscoring the dialogue.  It was a remake of Tom Petty's song "I Won't Back Down."  Man, I have always loved that song.  It was on his Full Moon Fever album back in the 80s.  I think that was one of those cassettes that I had that I played until it didn't play right anymore.  You know how that goes.  It kind of squeals in places because the tape has become too thin from over usage.  I loved that entire tape.  I could sing the whole thing side one and two.  I even liked all the b-songs.  Great album.

So, you can imagine that I would expect to HATE a remake of this song.  Just like I groan whenever they remake an 80s movie, and I start cursing at the trailer.  And then I stomp around the room for about ten minutes, and do a full-on rant that if they can't come up with any new ideas, they shouldn't mess with greatness.  And that leads to if they ever remake The Breakfast Club I will seriously hurt someone.  As in seriously.

I think I have digressed.

Anyway, I was stunned.  Awed.  In thrall.  I love this song.  I spent the next day trolling youtube in order to find the artist who remade the song.  It actually didn't take that long.  What I like about this song is that it isn't just a copy.  Ryan Star took this song and made it his own.  Instead of rocking it out Tom Petty-style (which I still love), he broke it down and laid it bare.  It is just him, a piano, and his guitar.  So, the words are that much more powerful.  Everything I loved about the song before, I love one hundred times more in this version. Why?  Because I feel it in my soul.  It makes me cry.  This song is a like a gift to my weary heart.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Who is John Galt?

So, what have I been up to?  Well, I have been to the movies.  Yep.

Went with a friend to see Atlas Shrugged II.  Didn't see the first part, but it turns out that it didn't matter.  The second part was excellent and stood on its own.

I was in thrall.  This scene was SO GOOD that I actually shook my fist in the air at the end and cheered.  Yeah, I forgot where I was.  That can happen when something speaks so profoundly to your soul.  I encourage you to watch it and see what your Soul Reaction is.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Do You Own Things Or Do They Own You?

Well, I promised to catch you up on some of the more interesting things going on here in my world.  I think that I will make this a series of posts.  There honestly is too much stuff to just stuff it into one post.  Plus, I think it would be good for me to try and write shorter posts.

Our house is up for sale and we are moving.  So, there is a lot of sorting going on right now.  A decision has been made that we are NOT lugging all of this junk again.  So, a great deal of stuff is going to the church yard sale on Oct. 20.  Some stuff is taking a direct trip to the trash.  And then there is creative repackaging.  That is my way of storing all of my DVDs in cake boxes vs the original packaging so that I can now store them in a drawer or closet.  For those of you not familiar with the term "cake box," it is just the plastic circular storage box that holds DVDs.  It has nothing to do with actual cake.  Although I am now hungry for cake.  I hate how the human brain works.

I have been putting off going through my closet.  I actually tackled shoes and purses already.  Who knew I had so many shoes?  Or purses?  Aacchh.  I am still in mourning over so many of my size small cute tops that I pitched when we moved here and I now wish I had.  But, I am going to pitch anything that doesn't actually fit, because it is too big, and call it a day.  I have boxes of clothes in so many sizes that you wouldn't believe it.  And pretty much all of my "dressy" clothes are from a previous life.  They are about to be history.  However, since I pretty much live in my pajamas, who am I freaking kidding?  Oh yeah, that would be my mom.

Then there are my college clothes that I don't want to part with that have those "cool" logos on them.  And I liked my clothes "oversized" then and I was about 10-15 pounds heavier then.  But, it is memorabilia.  And this is why I dread the clothes sort.

I first read a book called RIDE THE WIND by Lucia St. Clair Robson, that was a historical fiction loosely based around the true story of Cynthia Ann Parker and the Comanche Indians, back in the early 90s.  I was fascinated by the story itself, the attention to detail on the Comanche ways, etc.  I took away more than I can even begin to tell you in one posting from that book.  But the thing that is hanging with me today is the understanding that they had about material possessions: you don't own things ; things own you.  It was a fundamental belief that Native Americans had about ownership that the white man didn't comprehend at that time. Europeans came to America for a piece of land that they could call their own.  And the Native Americans didn't understand land ownership.  Land was never meant to be owned.  It was a core value that they simply didn't share.  You stayed on one piece of land too long and you drained it of its resources.  If you didn't buy it and title it, you didn't have anything to call yours.  Buy it from who?  And round and round it went.

Sitting where I do, I see both sides of that argument.  I also see that the Native Americans are right about things owning you.  The less you have, the less you have to lug around.  The less you have to sort.  It seems like more is better because everyone wants it.  But is it really?  Or are we just conditioned to think more is better?

When have you been happier?  When you've had more or less?  Or did it matter?  Is the problem when we make our happiness contingent on things?  In other words, if you need the things... that is the time you absolutely should get rid of them.  Because happiness only will come from within.

image found on facebook.... so shocking

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What Are We Teaching Our Kids?

The world truly has spiraled right off its axis.  I don't write educational blogs.  I don't have any desire to educate anyone.  That's not me.  This is a therapy blog.  I write about what I know.  Me.  My stuff.  You all come here to read about my junk.  The subject I know best is me.  My triumphs and failures and everything in between.  And then there are my crushes and fun stuff like that.  I occasionally provide eye candy, music videos, and I used to do those one word and fifteen minute blogs.  Now those were fun, right?  What happened to that????

I haven't even delivered the goods on "what is going on with me" in forever.  And there has actually been stuff.  Go figure.

Did all of you read JJ's post on The American Revolution?  JJ's blog is The Disconnected Writer.  I am too lazy today to link it in.  You can find it on my sidebar.  You should still read it to get EVERYTHING he is saying, but the upshot is that our youth are not being given access to the same education that you and I had.  The focus now is on the last fifty years.  So, stuff like the American Revolution is pretty much being left out.  The kids don't know who Ben Franklin is.  They have a right to a better education than that.  They have a right to that information.  Now, I know that didn't feel like a right when I growing up, because it was couched in words like homework, reading assignments, pop quizzes, and you will be tested on this on Friday.  But it was actually a RIGHT.  They were endowing me with information, whether I understood that right or not.  Whether I took advantage of that right or not.  Some people did.  Some didn't.  Some stored it in permanent memory.  Some short-term.  But it was offered.

My mom and I were driving to an appointment yesterday, and she told me that she read on the web that England's history books are also undergoing a rewrite.  Apparently, the Holocaust is offensive to the Muslim population, so it is getting written out.  The teachers are afraid to teach it.  She said that Eisenhower predicted this back when it happened, so he ordered as many pictures be taken as possible, because some day someone will try to say it never happened.  That day has come.  I looked on Wikipedia.  Apparently, it has been coming for decades.  People have been yelling long and loud that it never happened.  It has just taken a while for people to actually cave and write it out of textbooks.  So far, we are still standing strong here in America, in terms of our textbooks, but I have to wonder how long that will last.  We are so damn politically correct.  We sure don't want to offend anyone.  And the Holocaust offends our Muslims neighbors (apparently.. see the link below for an article on how this is all going down in England).  Apparently, so do the Crusades.  Can't teach that either.  That was the Christians and the Muslims duking it out. Folks, history is history.  You can't change it.  The best you can do is live with it and learn from it.  And hope to never repeat it.  I don't understand this Let's Just Erase It Mentality.  Or We Can't Talk About It Mentality.

Here is the link referred to above: click to read.

Here is a link to a site that looked at how Jewish history was being taught to children around the world.  Well anti-Semitism is alive and well.  Teachers are still teaching it.  And textbooks are still dishing it up by the spoonful all over the globe.  And, if you don't believe me, since I have a history of lying on this blog (not), here is the link: click to read for yourself.

And here is a direct quote from the United Kingdom's Holocaust Education Report, "In a recent BBC poll published in November, 45% of UK adults (16 years old and above) did not know what Auschwitz was."  You can read it for yourself here.  You have to scroll all the way to the bottom in order to find it.

My Polish friend and I just had an IM conversation about this topic (the Holocaust being erased out of England's textbooks) and she was shocked.  She lives in London now, and can't understand why the Muslims would be offended by the Holocaust.  I told her that it well... you know... makes the Jews somewhat sympathetic in the history annals.  You know you cannot have that when you're trying to wipe them off the map.  And she was like, "Oh, I see your point."

She also told me that she is amazed at how downright scared people are of Muslims in London.  Well, duh.  I think that is the kinda sorta the point.  No one ever orchestrated a takeover by being cuddly.

If you read that and thought to yourself, well those other countries are real bastards, but the U.S. is not SO bad.  I mean the hate in this country versus other countries isn't nearly so awful.  Sure, we've had some swastikas painted, Hitler faces, and some gas chambers.  And there was that "Hit A Jew Day" in the St. Louis area, but compared to the firebombing of a Jewish boys' school in Montreal, that's peanuts.  The solution falls back to the parents so says the study.  I mean the history books are just not going to get everything right.  It is up to the parents to educate their kid.  They need to know all of the facts about Jewish history and explain it to their kid.  Right????

The U.S. has always been Israel's biggest ally.  Yeah, maybe not so much.  Me?  I was thinking it was just the President who was not in Israel's corner until earlier today.  If you're wondering why I am thinking that, you haven't been watching the Prime Minister of Israel nearly enough.  I know this is a bit long, but this is put together by a liberal Jewish New Yorker who is concerned about what is going to happen to Israel.  I, too, am concerned.  This video details her research about Israel and where it stands in this precarious time.  If you care anything about Israel, it is worth your time to watch it.  Actually, since what happens in Israel will affect the Middle East, and that will affect us, it is worth your time to watch it.

So what happened earlier today?  Well, I was on facebook reading through everyone's rehash of last night's debate.  I had pretty much decided I didn't want to jump into that mess.  I've been bloodied enough already, thank you very much.  However, someone posted something and I thought they were asking for clarification... not argument.  And it had nothing to do with Israel, obviously, because that wasn't even up for debate last night.

Anyway, this person started IMing me.  And she was very nice to me.  But she was vicious tongued.  And I was very nice to her because I remain firm in the belief that everyone wants the best for the country, even if they disagree on how to get there.  Plus, there is not a good reason to be ugly.  The Middle East came up.  And I expressed my concern for Israel.  And I got a shock. 

She said, " Israel is taking land that doesn't belong to them... that is why so many of the Middle East countries hate them."

I replied, "Redrawing the lines to 1967 is throwing Israel under the bus. Well, they know they are on their own. For the first time in a very long time."

She responded, "I don't know what the lines were... I do know that they want land that isn't theirs. I really hope they are on their own... we can't afford to send our kids to war!"

Well, the conversation went on with me trying to explain that we would be at war no matter how the whole thing played out, but it was like talking to a wall.  I also tried to explain that the Prime Minister was right to be worried about Iran having a nuke, but she seemed to think that everyone ought to have nukes.  She was also convinced that Israel knew about 9/11 prior to the attacks and there was "dancing in the streets" in Israel over our misery.   While you might think this is a political post, it is not.  Electing Romney is not going to erase anti-Semitism.  Electing Obama is not going to erase anti-Semitism.  I am afraid that ship has sailed.

If we embrace the attitude of my facebook "friend," I am afraid Jews will not only be unsafe in Israel, but they will be unsafe everywhere.  Well, that does seem to be the case according to the site indicating the ever-increasing anti-Semitic incidents worldwide.  So, if we abandon Israel, there will be war.  And if we don't abandon Israel, there will probably be war.  So, I guess you have to decide who your friends and allies are.  Who has stood for you in the past?  Who would stand for you in the future?  When I look to the Middle East the only country that I think would stand for the U.S., should we need them, is Israel.  Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, and Iran are all a bit busy burning our flag at the moment.  Yet, we continue to send them foreign aid.  That is a bit of a head scratcher.  

So, I look to you my blogger friends.  I figure one of you can unravel this mystery better than I.

Friday, September 28, 2012


SURPRISE. Drum roll please. I present to you HERE'S TO YOU FRIDAY. With love. I bet you are thinking that this post is NEVER going to land on a Thursday again.  Or be weekly again.  It might not.  I am having difficulty getting my stuff together.  I can only say that I hope *someday* that it becomes a weekly Thursday post.  Until then, it is just a surprise post.  And we are all just grateful.  Or I hope we are.  Anyway, here it is.  XOXOXO.

Here is the recap of what is going on...

This used to be a weekly event landing typically on Thursdays. It is my hope that it will be a weekly event again some day... The best (or worst) part is that I am not going to explain why I chose "whatever" footage for each of you. If, you watch your footage and are scratching your head at the end, well that means I didn't do a very good job. However, all is not lost. You can email me at and ask me what I was thinking when I chose that particular piece of footage off of youtube and connected it to you. And then I will tell you. Then I will start sending up prayers that I haven't offended the crap out of whoever is on the receiving end of that Because, honestly, I will tell you right now... I admire all of you enormously so I really hope that doesn't happen.

Also, this is not an exclusive venture by any means. I hope that you will take the time to watch ALL of the footage because I don't pick bad footage:-) I also hope that you might check out the blog of the person I dedicated the footage to because they are pretty darn awesome. If you haven't figured this out yet... I pick the footage based on something that you've written or something that I've gleaned from your personality. Think on that for a while... If you are having trouble watching the entire video (meaning it is being cut off on one side), click on it a couple of times and it will take you straight over to youtube. If you click on the four squares at the bottom corner of the video, it will enlarge it to fill your screen. The escape key will bring it back to normal size. The back arrow will bring you back to my page.

Now, let's get this PARTY STARTED!!!!

This one is for everyone:

Click here to watch.

This one is for Gossip Girl at ~*~Whatever~*~...:

This one is for Chris at A Deliberate Life:

This one is for Jasmine at A Yellow Rose of Texas:

This one is for Shoes at Red Shoe's Chronicles:

This one is for downsizers at Myra's Journey:

Click here to watch.

This one is for JJ The Disconnected Writer:

image found on Facebook, of course
are you even surprised anymore???

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It Could Be Today

You want to know the truth? I am tired of political posts on Facebook. Heck, I am tired of political posts everywhere. I think most people have their minds made up and anything you say isn't going to change it. All you are going to do is make someone angry.  And yet, I cannot stop posting because this is THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF MY LIFETIME.

And then I think about that Eminem quote about people being mad at you. His response is, "Well good. At least at means you stood for something." You didn't sit in a corner too afraid to say anything because you might hurt someone's feelings. You didn't live to be so politically correct that you didn't want to offend your whole life. And I think, "Yeah, that is what I think makes him so damn hot." I don't agree with his every thought. Action. Definitely not every action. In fact, I don't think he does either. But he OWNS everything. I gotta respect that. And I don't think he cries in his milk when someone unfriends him on Facebook. Or if he had a blog I don't think he would lose sleep if he lost a follower. Oh well.

Real friends stick even if they disagree with every single word you say. They respect the crap out of you for saying it. It's like the song Drops of Jupiter. They might think you're wrong, but they have your back. And they are just glad you have the backbone to stand up. Because everyone someday is going to have to stand up. Maybe sooner than you think.

I am not going to ramble on much longer because I have an excerpt for you from someone who explains this much better than I can. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg as to why I feel our current President does not have OUR best interests at heart. Please understand that I don't think ANY OTHER PRESIDENT could get away with what he is doing. He has our social media wrapped up and reporting the news just the way he wants it. We are being fed the news he wants us to hear. And anytime any other version comes out, those people are portrayed as crazy or extremists or something else anti- or ugly.

This is from Michelle Malkin's book Culture of Corruption. She is clearly not racist (she is a minority) or anti-women (she is a woman). However, she is one of the few people courageous enough to speak up and call a spade a spade. Watch her on YouTube. She is impressive as all get-out.  This is from her book:

 "But the most glaring example of the Obama culture of corruption, and the clearest evidence that Hope and Change is hazardous to your personal well-being and welfare, can be found in the $60 billion White House payoff to Big Labor in exchange for its support for Obama's health care takeover plan. In mid-January 2010, the White House convened backdoor meetings with Democratic leaders, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern, and United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger. Outside the view of C-SPAN cameras, which Obama had so ostentatiously, repeatedly, and falsely promised to install at every health care policy negotiation, the special interest groups cut a deal to exempt union members from a massive 40 percent excise tax on high-priced health insurance premiums.

The excise tax kicks in for everyone else in 2013. While the law squeezes middle-class taxpayers, employers, investors, and drug-makers to subsidize expanded government health care, the Big Labor Cadillac tax exemption gives union members who belong to any health plan that is part of a collective-bargaining agreement immunity until 2018. State and local government employees who belong to unions will also be spared. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board put it succinctly: "The 87% of Americans who don't belong to a union will now foot the bill for a $60 billion giveaway to those who do."

 And you can bet those union lobbyists will spend the next eight years lobbying to ensure that the "temporary" exemption never ends. ... Connecting this raw deal to the parallel dirty deals hammered out on Capitol Hill to force the Obamacare package through, National Review editor and syndicated columnist Rich Lowry put the payoff in perfect perspective: "This Labor loophole stands in the finest tradition of the Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker Kickback. With no possible public-policy justification, it puts the awesome power to tax and spend at the service of nakedly political ends. Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said that taxes are the price of civilization. In this case, taxes are the price of not belonging to a group that pours countless millions of dollars into the Democratic coffers."

This is just ONE reason that I cannot vote for this man. Michelle Malkin has written an entire book citing enough things that this man has done to make a person physically ill. There isn't a single promise that hasn't been broken. That is made all the more crushing since he came riding in on the white horse. I think the people expected more. I mean, we all know politicians lie. But this guy was Hope and Change. Not more of the same... and even worse.

If you are tired of being force fed what the media is cramming down your throat, read Michelle Malkin's book. Open your mind to what is actually going on. This is the most important vote you will ever cast. Romney will repeal Obamacare, and that is moving Forward. The 87% don't know it yet, but they will thank you later.

I thank you for listening.  And I know that you will post your comments with grace and respect.  Because that is just who you are.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pat Monahan, I Got Your 411

You have probably been wondering why it has taken so long for me to post the Train concert rewind.

Well, it has been a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around it. That is honest.

I saw them a couple of times in 2004-2005 when they were on the road promoting their record, My Private Nation. The first time it was a total accident and I totally fell in love with them. The second time they were with Natalie Merchant and Smash Mouth and it was totally planned. That was just a trifecta of wonderful and I was already head over heels for Train.

They released several more records since My Private Nation. That means more hits. More songs. And they went into this tour in a completely different space. They headlined. They weren't opening or in the middle. I didn't think about what all of that would mean. There are always trades. The bigger you get, the more you lose. I know that you should get more, but you don't. It always works in reverse. You get more showy stuff like lights and big screens, but you lose time. You have more songs to sing and less time. Things have to go.

And that wonderful repartee that you used to get to enjoy with your audience... well, you don't have time for that anymore, either. You are on a freakin' clock. Too many songs. Not enough time.

What I felt in 2004-2005 was how much Train loved the performance. Pat is a funny, funny guy. He is also this serious guy who can write a song that will make you cry your eyes out. In other words, you can feel EVERYTHING in an hour (or two). You will, laugh, cry, and laugh again. Plus just drown in the beauty of the words. They are so good you don't need a light show or big screens to sell them. You just need Pat to talk to the audience. It is his opening the window to the soul of the band and giving the audience a peek in.. and it leaves everyone breathless for that moment in time. That is the moment that is worth the entire ticket price. Everything else is gravy.

So, when someone understands how to captivate an audience.... it does create magic when it happens... and I have lived through it twice.... why would you stop doing it?

California 37 is a brilliant album. It is their best work since My Private Nation. Save Me, San Francisco has moments of grace on it, but it fumbles. Like My Private Nation, California 37 is listening pleasure beginning to end. They got lost, but Train found their way again. And I was beyond happy for them:-)

So, things get cut in this new concert setting. That was one thing I just had to wrap my brain around. They didn't play my favorite songs. They truncated some and left out others entirely. Boo Hoo. They didn't have time. And Pat was somewhat chatty with the audience, but he was off. It was mostly song to song and we are outta here. Clap clap clap. Come back for the mandatory two song finale. And now we are really done. All with big lights and big screens. It was dizzying and not in the best way. Pat sang his heart out. Musically, it rocked. I can't say I didn't get my money's worth. I just didn't get my window. I didn't get my laugh, cry, laugh again moments. And if I had never had them, I wouldn't have known I was missing anything.

Today I read Pat's blog. I realize I haven't been keeping up. What people are saying to him is getting to him. The negativity is wearing him down. People aren't getting his humor. And that is a damn shame, because he is hilarious. So that is probably why he is cutting back on joking around between songs, because he doesn't want the negative feedback. And he doesn't want to open a window into his life, because that is just asking for negative feedback (right?). People and their negative feedback are taking the Meaningful out of Train concerts. You throw a bunch of crapola on someone and they stop giving you ammunition. It's called self-preservation.

Here is one of his more recent posts:

31th August 2012
And you’re sure you considered EVERYthing?

I am arriving at a place I dreamed of as a young lad(using this word as a tribute to the UK). On the way the road twisted, dead ended, forked, crossed…you name it, the road did it.
I thought I thought of everything. Really I did. I felt sorry for artists that started to believe the nonsense. Like believing that you’re as special as people want to think you are.
I looked on at the admirable jobs and places in the music world and decided that if I get my shot, I will do it with kindness and love and respect and I will make my parents proud, whether they are here to see it or not.
I decided that music is my ongoing road to find myself. The closer I got to that special music and connection, the closer I would get to knowing my true self.
I’m pretty sure that all of this was accurately moving towards truly working out as planned. Yeah, it took longer, had way more casualties and hurt way more than I thought it might, but the joy has continued to outweigh the lack there of.
Here’s the problem..I didn’t consider what might be the most important piece in this pursuit. I didn’t even think this part was possible. As I go down this road and get closer to finding myself, closer and closer each day, becoming in tune with my true self, what if I don’t like who I find waiting there?
I’m not looking for adulation nor confirmation. I mean really. What if as I approach that thing that we all long to find-our own personal meaning, what happens if the closer I get the more I resemble an unlikable version of what i was when i started this journey?
I’m not exactly sure what that would mean for me. I’m not sure that I would be able to continue this particular quest.
I do know this..I am making more mistakes now than ever and that worries me.

I dread writing and worrying people. I’m fine. I’m okay. I’m healthy. I’m okay. I’m in touch. BUT I’m not exactly sure I like what I’m becoming.
I’ve always wanted to be perfect. That led me to an endless sea of heartbreak and disappointment.
Now I just try not to break what I touch along the way. For everyone that I may touch positively, it seems someone else is being hurt or ignored.
As its said, “Everything will work out in the end. If it isn’t working out, it isn’t the end.”

As you move towards reaching your higher self, are you sure that you considered EVERYthing?


I couldn't respond to your blog, but I would have said you are allowing other people to dictate how you feel about yourself. You are a wonderful person. Please stop doubting yourself. You are not breaking anyone or anything. You always do the best that you can. Always. The only thing you are doing wrong now is not listening to your internal voice. You are not being you. I will explain this more as I go...

I used the link-in feature so that you could go direct to his blog if you wanted to do any other reading on your own. If you figure out how to comment, let me know. I am a total dweeb about these sorts of things.

One of the other comments he makes in a totally different blog is how hundreds of people can say how much they love him and one person's obnoxious hateful comment is the one that sticks. Doesn't that just suck? Why do we do that to ourselves? Hear all of the "you are wonderfuls" with a sort of "okay, if you say so" approach, but those "you suck" comments really hit in the heart. We believe that. Why is that? He was also talking about how people were targeting his sense of humor and really being ugly about it. He didn't say that he has since stopped talking on stage, but I know that he has really toned it down. He doesn't feel free to be himself. The haters are winning.

And there is the Catch 22 of stardom. The more you have, the more you can lose. When you don't have anything, you have nothing to lose. Back in the beginning, the haters didn't stop him. He didn't have a light show. He wasn't headlining. He didn't have big screens. Train wasn't rolling so hard. The faster you roll, the bigger you can crash. The flip side is that the faster you roll, the harder you can squash those little turds bullies with mouths that won't shut the fuck up. (If I just offended you, I am so thankful we got that over with, because it was bound to happen sooner or later. Now we can move on... because I always call it like I see it. And that was how I see it.)

So, Pat and the rest of Train, I hope that you read this and let Train start rolling again as AWESOME as it ever was, and even better than I can imagine. I just answered your 411. Give them hell. Be yourselves. It will solve ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS. In case you forgot, this is who you are:

as for the image... that is me pre-Train concert 9/7/12.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Put The Stars Back In Your Eyes.

Took this video from Jasmine at A Yellow Rose of Texas (see sidebar of blog faves to check out her blog).

I think we all need to be reminded what we are fighting for here.

When leaving the Constitutional Congress a woman asked Benjamin Franklin "What kind of government have you given us Sir?"

He replied, "A Republic Ma'am, if you can keep it."

Friday, September 14, 2012

What Does It Mean?

I will write a post updating everyone on the Train concert. Probably this weekend.

This is one of the many things spinning around in this brain right now. I feel like I am on BRAIN OVERLOAD, quite honestly.

Watch this video. It explains QE3... aka Quantitative Easing.

Okay, someone please explain to me, why isn't anyone stopping this craziness?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

You Can Quit At Any Time. But This Could Be Your Year.

Well, I missed a few days. Duh.

Did you miss me?

Yeah, I figure you were busy, too.

Funny how you can have great intentions and they can just get shot straight to someplace else. Well, that is what you call LIFE, I think.

Oh well.

Let's get back to California 37 and Train. Can you believe that the concert is only two days away? Me either.

I am absolutely ready for it. It is going to be outside, so I am really hoping that the weather cooperates. Last time I checked there was only 30% chance of rain, so that is good. And it has been cooling down in the evenings... another plus. So, I have fingers, toes, and anything else that is crossable... crossed.

Okay, let's get down to the music. I do believe that I referenced a blog or two back that the band did figure out what the problem was for their lack of ongoing success after they achieved success. In other words, just having a couple of great songs doesn't mean that you will continue to put out great songs. I think that there is a lot of pressure once you have made it to continue to make it. Before you make it, you can write whatever you want. After you make it, everyone seems to have an opinion about your music. And that is aside from the fans.

I found what Pat had to say during this studio session very enlightening.

Let's listen to the whole thing...

If if made you think of Billy Joel's song We Didn't Start The Fire at first listen, you are not the only one. Of course, the listing of events is the only thing those two songs have in common. BJ's song spans decades and isn't remotely personal. Train's song is an intimate look at Pat's life. I look at the timeline of it and I see that at various times there was hopelessness there. Gaping hopelessness. Couldn't you feel it? He even says "this is the time I felt most alone."

I love these kinds of songs because he is offering the entire spectrum of his life to date. There was some terrible places, black places, with sunlight filtering in here and there. However, he kept going and then KABOOM... the universe rewarded all of his tenacity with bounty. Train took off. Train crashed and burned. Train took off again. His marriage crashed and burned, but finally he met the true love of his life in 2004, and it was true and good, and he finally felt at home. The lesson is that you can quit at any time on the timeline, but if you do, you won't get the reward.

So, Journey has the right of it DON'T STOP BELIEVING. And so does Train because MAYBE THIS WILL BE YOUR YEAR.

This is another song I just really like off of the new album. They didn't create a Studio Session for it. And it hasn't been deemed radio worthy... yet. But, it is one of my personal favorites.

If I go before I say to everyone in my ballet
Let me take this chance to thank you for the dance
If I run out of songs to sing to take your mind off everything
Just smile, sit a while with the

Sun on your face and remember the place we met
Take a breath and soon I bet you'll see

Without you I would never be me
You are the leaves of my family tree

Sing together
If you knew me from the very start,
Or we met last week at the grocery mart
Just sing together

It's the least that I can do
My final gift to you

Oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oooo

When I'm past the pearly gate, I will find some real estate
Where we can settle down and watch the world go round

We'll send down all the love we got and let them know we got a spot
For them to be and it's all free,

The sun on your face and remember the place we met
Take a breath and soon I bet you'll see
Without you I would never be me
You are the leaves of my family tree

Sing together
If you knew me from the very start,
Or not at all you're still a part, just

Sing together

It's the least that I can do
My final gift to you

Oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oooo
Oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oooo

So, let's all sing together. If you knew me from the very start, or not at all you're still a part of it all. It's the least that I can do.

Without you, I would never be me.

image found on facebook, yet again
Don't ask...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Soul Vacation

Well, I am late getting started with my next post in this series.

I have actually had a busy day.

Went with a friend to see The Dark Knight Rises. Wow. What an awesome movie. I refuse to accept that it is the last one. Christian Bale absolutely must make another Batman movie. They lined up the dominoes so perfectly for the next movie that they cannot NOT make it. It is just unacceptable. Joseph Gordon-Levitt knocks it out of the park in everything he does. Seriously, this guy is seriously starting to make me really like him. As in he might get added to my Cannot.Miss.Anything.He.Does List. That is a tough list to get on, but he has worked overtime to get there. And he has sold me. Or maybe I am owned. Not sure how that one works. Whatevs. And Anne Hathaway shocked me with her dazzling performance, too. Everyone was just spot-on terrific. This movie just nailed it all the way around. Now, if the real life crazy people would just stay at home, the world would be a perfect place. Big sigh. Moving on....

Then we met up with friends for some dinner and karaoke. In honor of the Train concert this Friday, I sang some Drops of Jupiter. I can't say that it is my best singing performance, but I can pull it off with enthusiasm. Woot.

Now, on to some more stuff off of California 37. I just read on the message boards on YouTube that someone had seen them in concert and they performed this song. Pat apparently said at that concert that this song is something of a continuation on a theme to Drops of Jupiter. By the time the song was over the whole place was in tears, or so says the person who left the comment. I can believe it.

Here is the Studio Sessions clip of You Can Finally Meet My Mom. It is only a couple of minutes. However, I love these clips. They are so revealing about the song and the band.

Okay, let's listen to the song in its entirety.

I can see right now that I better pack some tissues for this concert because I am going to lose it on that song. I know me and the floodgates are going to OPEN WIDE. I can't listen to it right here without crying like a little girl.

If you are now sitting there thinking, but I know Drops of Jupiter. Okay, maybe I only thought I knew Drops of Jupiter. What am I missing???? You want to hear it again. Am I right? If that was Drops of Jupiter 2, what did you miss about Drops of Jupiter (1), because you weren't pulling out your hanky as you drove down the expressway when you heard it the first, second, third, and fourth times???? Well, let's take another listen...

And there it is. That soul vacation that I liked to imagine was one to Jamaica or Hawaii was a bit more permanent, wasn't it? Hence all the references to sailing across the sun, falling from shooting stars, etc. And then there are the questions. Did the wind sweep you off your feet? Is heaven overrated? And, most important of all, do you miss me????? And let's whip out the tissues because the crying has started again. I think I might not be able to karaoke that song anymore. It may be joining the long list of things I can no longer sing, because I just start bawling like a baby midway through. I don't have that capacity to separate myself from the song no matter how many times I have heard it. I am unable to build up an immunity.

So, today we are looking at the softer side of Train. Yesterday was all about telling your truth even when it might hurt someone else. It was also about having a little bit of fun. Today, we went on a Soul Vacation.

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you... even when I know you're wrong
Can you imagine no first dance, freeze dried romance,
Five-hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had... And me

When it's my time, I am definitely going to be hopping a shooting star. You can count on it. What kind of Soul Vacation would it be without riding a star?

image found on facebook... again
where I spend way too much time

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Do You Speak Your Truth?

Knock. Knock. Who's there? Me. Again.

Are you shocked?

I know. Me too.

Posting back to back is downright a-mazing.

Here's the deal, peeps. It just smacked me right upside the head that my long awaited concert is next Friday. As in less than a week away. Yes, Train is coming to Atlanta next Friday night. I am so totally and completely psyched. I got out my IPod this afternoon, put California 37 on shuffle, and soaked it in... again. Man, I love that album.

While I was listening, I said to myself, "Robin, you have seriously got to share the deliciousness that is this album with your blog friends. So many people are still in the dark about how awesome Train is. If you start today and post at least one song off the album every day, you can cover a good many songs before C-Day (Concert Day)." So, I decided to go for it.

Then, I had to decide what to choose and why. These are always the hardest choices. Every song on this album is so revealing about Train in different ways. Stylistically, they are all a bit different, which I totally love. Don't you hate listening to a singer or band and come away thinking that every song sounds exactly the same? No chance of that with this band. They really dug deep and found their sound, which is totally unique, but not remotely the same as any other song on the album. I love that.

The other thought that kept running through my head was how honest Pat was in so many of these songs. Pat is the lead singer and does a lot of the writing, for those of you not in the know. Some of that honesty was so raw that it reminded me of another favorite singer (can I bring up Marshall Mathers and not have this become an MM post????). When you live in the spotlight and decide to write about your life, it means writing about other people. Period. And the people who were crappy to you end up not looking so good. If those people are your exes and still wield some power over you because you share kids, you have to decide whether or not you or going to live in fear of them or not. Or are you going to tell your story with fearless truth and courage? And then let the chips fall as they may. I have to say that I respect someone who steps up and lets it fly.

Anyway, this is not the first cut off the album. It isn't even a particularly long song, but I feel taps the attitude of the album very well, so I think it is a good place to BEGIN.

Knock knock, who's there?
2012 is a brand new year

Cleaning house, singing songs
Shedding light and righting wrongs

Ding dong the witch ain't dead
She's still trying to take my bread
Four more years 'til my girls all grown
Then the b*tch gotta have to leave me alone
It's all good 'cause I'm as happy as a flea
On a mountain of dogs you see

A little music cured all the hurt and put hate in six feet of dirt

I was looking for some heaven
There's no need to look no more
California 37
Took me right to heaven's door
Knock knock, woah oh
Rock and Roll
California 37 took me right to heaven's door

Here's to those who didn't think Train could ever roll again
You were the fuel that I used when inspiration hit a dead end
San Francisco got it done 415 took the 911
Thank you all for believin' in
We won't let you down again

Truth is, it was attitude
Replaced greed with gratitude

Then replaced a pretty key dude
It's all truth not being rude
Making love now, not mistakes
Working hard instead of looking for breaks

Came all the way from the eighth Great Lake
And found 37 reasons to stay

I was looking for some heaven
There's no need to look no more
California 37
Took me right to heaven's door
Knock knock, woah oh
Rock and Roll
California 37 took me right to heaven's door

I was looking for some heaven
There's no need to look no more
California 37
Took me right to heaven's door

Okay, I just had me a time with the italics, large, larger, and largest functions. For those of you not in the know, Pat is divorced with two kids. He remarried in 2004 or 2005. And he had two kids with his new wife and they are very happy. Obviously, that first marriage not so much. And they are still not getting along. However, I have seen pics of him and his two oldest kids and they are great with their dad. He doesn't talk much about they whys and wherefores of it all, but clearly it is not good! See the italicized portions for clarification.

There was speculation that Train would not bounce back. Pat talks about this in a Studio Session that I will post in a later blog. When you have discord in a band about your "sound," you have discord. They needed unity about who they were. Apparently in order to get that unity they had to pare down the band. Well, core values and goals are a must. If your destination isn't the same you will always be tugging at each other and spinning your wheels. It is a strange sort of marriage. I love the part about how they turned it around: replaced greed with gratitude and then working hard instead of looking for breaks. They realized it wasn't working at the root, which explained the lack of success on their last two albums prior to Save Me, San Francisco, which had the hit Hey Soul Sister on it. However, something had to give. And that was it. They had to strive for gratitude and hard work. And when they did, it turned everything around. They made something incredible.

Let's look at one more song for fun. This is their current single. It even has a video. As you will soon see, it is stylistically very different from everything else on the album. I love the lyrics. I love the beat. Actually, I love everything about this song. Just LOVE it.

Isn't that hilarious? I freakin' love the video, too.

They just put this T-shirt up for sale on Train's Official Website, due to fan outcry, after Pat wore it on a morning talk show. It was previously only available at the concert. Now you can buy it on their website. I wish it came in purple...

Stay tuned for more Train and some cool 3-4 minute Studio Sessions with Train to see how the new record came together. I think you tend to like a band better when you feel like you have a better sense of who the people actually are. And they are always just people. It's when they let you in and get to know them a little bit, you can see that they are really COOL people.

Stay away from those crappy Purple Scions everyone. They can be killers... lol.

all images except the T-shirt found on facebook, of course
where the crazy people live

you can find the T-shirt on Train's official website

Friday, August 31, 2012

Once Upon A Time

I haven't posted one of these in a while. I figure I better get busy because the Fall season is upon us and I haven't done much recapping of what was good about last season. I hardly think one post qualifies! I am going to start limiting these posts to my TV blog, so if you like this sort of thing, you should start following that blog. If I think of it I will make a notation that I have posted on my regular blog and link it in. However, I wouldn't place any bets on my remembering to actually accomplish this feat.

As I mentioned the last time I posted like this, picking one scene out of a season is extremely difficult. With this show, I could not do it. I thought I had it, but then I changed my mind. The show is JJ Abram's Once Upon A Time. The premise of that show is that the Evil Queen placed a curse on all of the storybook characters taking away their Happy Ever Afters. Instead, they no longer know who they are and live in our world in a town called Storybrook, Maine. They cannot leave the town. The only one who knows the truth of the matter is the Evil Queen (Regina) who is the Mayor of the town and Rumpelstiltskin (Mr. Gold). Regina's adopted son suspects the truth when he reads a book of Fairytales provided by his teacher (Snow White) and becomes determined to save the town.

JJ Abrams is also known for Felicity, Alias, Lost, and Alcatraz. I know that he has numerous movie projects to his credit. The only one immediately coming to mind is the newest Star Trek movie (the prequel). Whenever I see his name attached to something I am willing to give it a whirl. His imagination is fearless. I like that about him.

Anyway, Once Upon A Time embraced many of the style points that made Lost so much fun. It, too, rockets back and forth between past and present to tell the story. Even though the characters don't remember who they are, it doesn't change your choices so much. People don't change at the CORE. In other words, you are who you are. So, as they face challenges in this "foreign" world, the story often juxtaposes to their past when they faced a similar challenge. All of these characters are onions. I love that. Mostly because you don't really expect it in a fairy tale. In the fairy tale good is good and bad is bad. Black is black and white is white. There really was no grey. In Once Upon A Time you discover that the story has a lot more shading than you originally thought.

And people aren't just born evil. It was a JOURNEY. And it is walking that mile in their shoes that is always the most interesting part. So, you start out hating the Evil Queen because she is just so darn hateful and evil. And then at the end you find out how she got that way and it is like being turned on your head. Evil isn't born; it's made. And while you wish she had made different choices and could embrace things like forgiveness, those things, too, are taught. What happens when you are raised by evil?

So, I am going to show you two clips. The first one is a combo clip. I would have liked to show you a clip from episode 18 that really showed what happened to Regina to turn her evil, but Disney has pulled it off of youtube. This clip has pieces of it in there, along with other stuff, so it should give you a pretty good picture of what happened.

That episode changed everything we thought about Regina. She was a girl in love with a boy. She had a controlling mother who abused magic for her own ends. A little girl, Snow White, found out about this love that Regina had for the stable boy and encouraged Regina to marry him. Regina decided to leave home with her love, but told Snow that she must not tell anyone, especially her mother. However, Snow was grieving for her own mother, so when Regina's mother began to question Snow about Regina, Snow was an easy target. She easily gave up Regina's secrets, believing all that false concern Regina's mother expressed. And then Regina's mother found Regina and her love and killed him. She then forced Regina into a marriage with the king. When Regina found out what Snow had done, her heart hardened and she blamed her, her father, the whole world for her misery. They would all pay for Daniel's death. They would all be just as miserable as she was. The opposite of love isn't apathy. It is hate. And her hate just ate her alive.

Now, was it unrealistic to expect a little girl to keep a big secret like that? Of course. Did Snow reveal that secret to hurt Regina? Of course not. She thought that Regina's mother loved her in the same way that her own mother had loved her. She didn't know how wrong she was. She didn't know what kind of person Regina's mother was. She didn't understand these people at all. She was a child. However, Regina's pain over the loss of her love never allowed her to see Snow that way.

And that is what makes this scene the best of the season...

Ironically, they are both doing the things they are doing out of love. Regina is doing what she is doing out of a twisted love for Daniel. Snow is doing what she is doing out of a pure love for the man she has come to call Charming. Regina thinks that bringing a non-death to Snow White will bring her peace. It won't. She doesn't yet get that because what she really wants is Daniel back and nothing will give her that. However, Snow will have her peace because she is giving the man she loves safety, even it is at her own expense. They are living on the opposite sides of the emotional spectrum. Ironically, watching this scene I feel more sorry for Regina than I do Snow White. She has a long way to go before she will know any peace in her life.

Until you dig out all of the junk there is no room for any good stuff in your life.

image found here

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How Can We Make This Fun?

We have been back home for a few days and I have been meaning to blog, but I have been busy catching up. Deep breath. Slow down. And here we are.

I had to look over my last blog to see where I ended. St. Augustine Monday morning. I was about to meet a fellow blogger.

Well, that was so much fun. My mom and I met JJ and his wife in downtown St. Augustine at a restaurant whose name I can no longer remember. However, it was lovely. And the company was great. Meeting fellow bloggers is truly a fantastic experience. You finally get to put a face and a voice to the words. And I loved JJ's wife. She is a gem of a person. Lunch went by very quickly, as it always seems to when you are having such an enjoyable time, and we promised to try and get together again.

Mom and I spent the rest of the week in the car traveling back and forth from St. Augustine to Jacksonville, Eulee (Fernandina), or South Georgia area (Kingsland, St. Mary's) to look at real estate. We left early and got home late each day. However, we did learn a lot about what was happening in the real estate market in general, what sort of house we wanted in specific, what area we preferred in each location, etc. The time was well spent, but we were both worn out by the end of the week.

It was hard to believe that when Saturday rolled around we still hadn't seen the beach. Gah.

I put another call into JJ and his wife and we met up again and we met at a restaurant on the beach and sat on the screened porch. Now, that was perfect. No sand. No actual water in my toes. But the view was amazing. And the breeze was fantastic. Of course, the company makes any situation delightful and this was no exception. We sipped on tea and then had an exceptional meal. They then came to our resort to do some more porch sitting so that we could finish out our visit. It was a lovely way to finish out our vacation.

image found on facebook, of course