June was a month of reconnection. By far, my favorite musical moment was the lovely Rebecca Correia at the Iron Horse. It is awful to say but every single artist that follows her on stage can’t compare. Not that they are NailsOnaChalkboard bad, but they have nothing on Rebecca. On the professional side of things June was a very frustrating month. On the personal sides I got one of the best hugs of my life (thanks, Gracie). For books, it was this:
- Happenstance by Carol Shields ~ this should be a movie
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen ~ this also should be a movie
- The Confession of Nat Turner by William Styron ~ this was a hard one to read
- Writing Dangerously: Mary McCarthy and Her World by Carol Brightman ~ a very thorough biography that helped with my insomnia
- I Don’t Know Why I Swallowed the Fly by Jessica Maxwell ~ first year fly fishing story
- Less Than Angels by Barbara Pym ~ a sociology experiment in a land of anthropologists
- Master & Commander by Patrick O’Brien ~ this took some time to get into…so much so that I didn’t finish it.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ~ I needed to lick my wounds with something enjoyable!
For LibraryThing’s Early Review program:
- The House on Oyster Creek by Heidi Jo Schmidt ~ once I got beyond the first chapter I loved it. Beautiful writing.
For the fun of it:
- Winning By Losing by Jillian Michaels ~ I’m most interested by the subtitle on the cover of her book, “Change You Life.” I’m up for that. Really.
July ’09 was yesterday, but it was also a really fun month (despite the pool letting go). First there was meeting a friend for dinner and asking her to come work for me! Then there was Rebecca Correia’s Iron Horse show. Of course I rallied the troups (all 12 of us!) and we had a great time. I really need to blog about the three-way Kisa had with the girls and who can forget the Wicked Wally?
How could I forget Boston? The trip into the city was amazing because the company couldn’t have been more perfect. They caught the mandarin fish! I have a few pictures from the day of my way, but I’m dying to see theirs!
July was also the return to running. I am proud to say I logged 35.21 miles in July.
- The Skull Mantra by Eliott Pattison ~ this one stayed with me for awhile. I think it should be a movie.
- The Stillmeadow Raod by Gladys Taber ~ cute.
- Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx ~ ugly.
- The Enemy by Lee Child ~ fascinating. Can’t wait to read the others!
- Morningside Heights by cheryl Mendelson ~ middle class society in Manhattan.
- The Light That Failed by Rudyard Kipling ~ a little tough to get into at first.
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne ~ back to a classic!
For the fun of it:
- Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman
I was supposed to read a couple of Early Review books but only one arrived in July. I will have to review it in August (I’m reading it now).
I am feeling better about July. Much better. It’s like the sun has come out (literally and metaphorically). I think I am finding my way out of the darkness. July is social. Dinner with good friends. July is a Rebecca show at the Iron Horse with a whole host of people. July is more attention paid to Hilltop. Reconnecting with Germany. Maybe Norway and Lebanon. Wouldn’t that be cool?
For books, here is the endeavor:
- Skull Mantra by Eliott Pattison ~ in honor of the best time (supposedly) to visit Tibet (in my dreams)
- Stillmeadow Road by Gladys Taber ~ okay, this is a stretch: Nancy Pearl calls this book a “cozy.” I translated that to mean “happy” and July is National Ice Cream Month. Ice cream makes me happy and happy is cozy…told you it was a stretch!
- Close Range by Annie Proulx~ on honor of Wyoming becoming a state in July
- The Light That Failed by Lee Child~ here’s another stretch: Lee Child lives in New York. July is the month NY became a state. If anyone knows what month Lee Child was born in please let me know!
- Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne ~ to celebrate Hawthorne’s birth month
- Morningside Heights by Cherilyn Mendelson ~ in honor of New York becoming a state.
If there is time I would like to add The Light That Failed by Rudyard Kipling or The Making of the Atom Bomb by Richard Rhodes. Also, I’m supposed to have an Early Review book from LibraryThing – something about getting along with you mother-in-law (or something like that), but I haven’t seen it. Janice Schofield Eaton’s Beyond Road’s End: Living Free in Alaska was a bonus book.
- Tell Kyle
- Bring on the Rain
- Erina Rose
- Miss You
- Oh Nashville
- On Your Way Down
- Goodbye For the Last Time
- No Such Fairytale
- Hold Me
- Sonnet #30
There is something about outdoor music, especially when the weather is perfect and the bugs are held at bay. People pull out snacks, snap open lawn chairs and spread out blankets, complete with coolers and cameras. Laughter bounces off conversations and excitement mingles with anticipation. We are ready for music. The Soul of Me cd release party was like this – a combination of family and friends getting together like a gigantic gourmet picnic in the park and the thrill of new music. Hugging and catching up between sips of wine and bites of food. A backyard oasis of tiny white lights and chocolate covered strawberries. And That Voice.
The above setlist is not from the cd release party. I wasn’t willing to spend my time writing each song down… in the dying light and approaching dark. Instead, this is the track list for Rebecca’s new cd, Soul of Me. Rebecca sang all the songs except “No Such Fairytale” “Goodbye for the Last Time” and “Hold Me.” I was relieved she didn’t sing “Hold Me” because I was ripe for a good cry and I didn’t need to be turning on the waterworks at that particular time! She did throw in some extras like a cover mix, an oldie from Memories of Their Love and a little something about Gene Simmons in her grocery store…
Side story: When Rebecca introduced Chris from ‘The Everyday Visuals’ there was a moment of deja vu. How do I know you? Where do I know you from? Do I know you or is my mind playing tricks on me? As Chris began to sing and tell stories the nagging thought I had seen him before simply would not leave my mind. Turns out ‘The Everyday Visuals’ played in the Boston Pop’s cafe the same night Natalie played at Edgefest (the ticket to Natalie got you in to see ‘The Everyday Visuals’ as well). TEVs were the band I could have seen had my family been interested in a little more music after Natalie…
All in all it was a great night and I wish I could have stayed to see Rebecca’s after-show antics! Maybe next time.
Truth be told, the dying days of December have been drying up my peace and goodwill. This has been a month full of disappointment, fear, sadness and anger. This weekend I was bound and determined to practice a little generosity, a little grace. It started with keeping the library open for 5 1/2 extra hours. We were supposed to close due to the pending storm but I refused to be pansy about the precipitation. If the students had be stuck I was determined to be stuck with them. It was worth every suspicious look, every odd comment.
Rebecca’s show couldn’t have come at a worse time. We had barely cleaned up from one storm when we were slapped with another. All day I watched the snow come down, relentless in his drive to cover every sidewalk, every street and every vehicle. I shoveled my in-laws walkway, our sidewalk, and most of our driveways twice before giving up, giving in to the cold, wet exhaustion. I couldn’t keep up. In a way it was a good thing. I caught my mother’s phone call. She wanted to talk out her nervousness. Her father’s surgery is mere weeks away. She’s a little more blunt, “did you tell them he’s getting his leg cut off?” I winced at her harshness. I know it’s her way of coping but it still bites. To change the subject we talked of cancer and motherless children. I still can’t make sense of dying 10 days before Christmas. That iron determination just couldn’t hold on. I tell mom about the obituary taped to my computer. It smiles at me every morning. A reminder that life is sweet and oh so short.
Finally it was time to head to Rebecca’s show. My mother-in-law drove. No one else came yet strangers packed the Iron Horse. I watched my phone and worried about the roads. An unused ticket sat waiting at the counter. I only relaxed when I got word no one else would be coming. Safe and sound was all I cared about until Rebecca started to sing. Here’s the short but sweet setlist:
- On Your Way Down
- Miss You
- Bring on the Rain (with comments about not needing any more precipitation)
- Tell Kyle (“a true story about mixing business with pleasure. I don’t recommend it.”)
- Home (a song about being on the rebound. I still call this Cowboy Christmas.)
- Hold Me (I love the way Rebecca introduces this song. It’s beautiful.)
What made this show so special was this was the first time Rebecca didn’t have to sell a certain number of tickets in advance. For the first time ever the Iron Horse was able to comp her tickets, too. She tried to give me one but, but! But, I had already bought two in advance. Woops. I assured her I would never, ever accept a free ticket unless she was the headlining act. We made a deal. On the day that she becomes the big show, she could comp me a ticket – until then, I pay my own way.
The past week has been a little on the hellish side, without the heat – if you know what I mean. Two major storms; one with weather and one in my personal life. I’ve managed to dig out from both.
Thank you to the students who were so appreciative of the extra library hours. Staying open an extra 5.5 hours for you was my pleasure. I had nowhere to go and, apparently, neither did you.
Thank you to my mother-in-law for braving the weather to see Miss Rebecca sing last night. I couldn’t have asked for a better pilot. Now that we know how parking works we should do it again.
Thank you to Rebecca for making the four hour trek to Northampton. You and your funnier than all get out father are amazing. Thank you for singing your heart out. I must insist that you stop saving ‘Hold Me’ as your last song. I couldn’t hold my camera steady thanks to the tears. I’m sure the video is going to reflect that grief. Don’t worry, I will blog about the entire thing…maybe even post a snippet of the video (depending on how shaky it is).
Thank you to my friend. I understand your absence. I missed you just the same.
I have been meaning to blog this. I have needed to blog this. I miss you and you and you and you and you and you. To Germany: I have been trying and trying to get a Sunday – something worthwhile and lengthy. So much to catch on from so far away. Thanks for the video email. I can’t stop watching it. You know me and a good cause. It brings tears to my eyes everytime. To Ms Delusion Dr: got your holiday email tonight and I have to say I loved the sax but missed you more. Hope all is well, my friend. To Ruby: we keep trying for a meal. We keep trying for a royal bitch session (I think that’ll be my part) and nothing has worked out. You are graceful and reassuring. This is my sanity saying thank you for listening, even if it isn’t the way I want to be communicating. I love you. To Gnasher: Maybe you think I have been avoiding you. Silence on my end means nothing more than a bad day multiplied by seven to make a whole week of hell. Make that two. I miss you. Dear, dear Smiley: I need a laugh. I need something funny to keep me one step ahead of my black cloud. Cookies don’t cut it. Really. Belise: I’m intimidated by the running force you have become, yet..and yet…You might be proud of me. I’ve put in 27 miles last month and 15.6 miles so far this month. You inspire me. I’m still scared of the hurt I could inflict on myself- the shadow of pain is always there like a dark shadow I can’t escape…but I’m trying. Really trying.
And for Rebecca:
You know me and live music. You know me and this voice. You know me and this friend. Just have to promote everything about her. Rebecca Correia will be at the Iron Horse on 12/21 (Sunday) @ 7pm. She’s opening for Brian O’Connor. Have to admit, I’ve never heard of Brian, but I’m game.
Speaking of games, Kisa is going to a football game that night – a mercy outing with a friend who couldn’t get rid of his extra ticket. Probably will be the last game of the year so how could I say no? I’m no Kill Joy wife. No matter what.
Rebecca, I have missed your songs and your weird sense of humor. Can’t wait to see you!