Today, fill your cup of life with sunshine and laughter.

30 November 2006


I HAVEN'T been tagged for this by anybody, but I'm going to do it anyway, whether you like it or not. As always, you have the choice to read it or ignore it. Thanks to TopChamp for bringing my attention to this. Here are my colour codes:

GREEN - have done this
BLUE - would like to do it
RED - would never do this
GRAY - indifferent
BLACK - can't answer

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink.(if I had a million dollars)
2. Swam with wild dolphins (on my wish list)
3. Climbed a mountain (not a big one, but the highest peak in NB - Mt. Carleton)
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive (no, but does a Jaguar count?)
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid (on my wish list)
6. Held a tarantula (hello! scared spitless of spiders!)
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone (champagne, too)
8. Said “I love you” and meant it (never say it unless you mean it!)
9. Hugged a tree (tree tag as a kid)
10. Bungee jumped (ok, this is just stupid)
11. Visited Paris (I was only 14)
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea (duh - I live on the ocean)
13. Stayed up all night (ah, les nuits blanches a l'universite...)
14. Seen the Northern Lights (I do live in Canada, eh?)
15. Gone to a huge sports game (can you say "Go Habs!"?)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa (do the stairs up into the crown of Lady Liberty count?)
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (every year)
18. Touched an iceberg (walked on one)
19. Slept under the stars (many times)
20. Changed a baby’s nappy (many times)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon (NB Balloon Fest 2001 with three deserving students)
22. Watched a meteor shower (many times)
23. Gotten drunk on champagne (tend to giggle alot)
24. Given more than you can afford to charity (um ... oops)
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope (took an astronomy course at university)
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (more often than I care to remember)
27. Had a food fight (um .. I swear it wasn't me who started it ...)
28. Bet on a winning horse (it would be silly to bet on a losing one, wouldn't it?)
29. Asked out a stranger (you just don't get much stranger than some of my picks ...)
30. Had a snowball fight (did I mention that I live in Canada, eh?)
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (very bad for the vocal cords)
32. Held a lamb (and a piglet, too)
33. Seen a total eclipse of the moon (with my friend Francois-Xavier)
34. Ridden a roller coaster (threw up on one, too)
35. Hit a home run (I would like to, but it's highly unlikely to ever happen)
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (I clown for charity)
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day (Irish, and it was hilariously bad)
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (most of the time, actually)
39. Had two hard drives for your computer (*blank stare* you can do that?)
40. Visited all 50 states (let's see now ... there's the state of inebriation, state of panic, state of euphoria, state of ...)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk (many, many times)
42. Had amazing friends (wish I could make this MORE green because my friends are so incredibly amazing)
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country (some sort of folk festival in Nottingham, at a jazz club in NYC)
44. Watched wild whales (brings tears to your eyes, they are so beautiful)
45. Stolen a sign (not sure why I would want to)
46. Backpacked in Europe (well, I've been to Europe, and I had a backpack, but I don't think it was the same thing)
47. Taken a road-trip (more times than you would imagine)
48. Gone rock climbing (and rappelling, too)
49. Midnight walk on the beach (literally countless times, since I live next to the ocean)
50. Gone sky diving (the things we do to please our lovers ...!)
51. Visited Ireland (lived there for a brief time with my uncle's family)
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love (unlucky in love ...)
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them (great experience - did it in NYC and London and right here at home)
54. Visited Japan (wish list is growing)
55. Milked a cow (and a goat, too)
56. Alphabetized your CDs (isn't that totally anal?)
57. Pretended to be a superhero (whadda ya mean, pretend???)
58. Sung karaoke (oh, come on! like you haven't?)
59. Lounged around in bed all day (life is too short)
60. Played touch football (every Thanksgiving, our community gets together and has a pick-up game that we call the Turkey Bowl)
61. Gone scuba diving (love water sports)
62. Kissed in the rain (love water sports)
63. Played in the mud (love water sports)
64. Played in the rain (love water sports)
65. Gone to a drive-in theater (and all that entails ...)
66. Visited the Great Wall of China (on my wish list)
67. Started a business (not organized enough to do it by myself)
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (remember that wish list?)
69. Toured ancient sites (here in Canada, and in Britain)
70. Taken a martial arts class (self-defense counts, right?)
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight (sorry - tried it at university, but was bored silly)
72. Gotten married (horrible mistake ...)
73. Been in a movie (been recorded for radio, though)
74. Crashed a party (a couple of times)
75. Gotten divorced (working on it ... can I refer to the wish list again?)
76. Gone without food for 5 days (never again, though)
77. Made cookies from scratch (how else do you make them?)
78. Won first prize in a costume contest (when I was a kid, my Gram made the greatest ones)
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice (see note re wish list)
80. Gotten a tattoo (not my thing at all)
81. Rafted the Snake River (rafted other rivers ...)
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert” (sang, played piano on tv - not an expert)
83. Got flowers for no reason (last week - from my darling friends!)
84. Performed on stage (many times)
85. Been to Las Vegas (wish list again - to see Barry)
86. Recorded music (many times)
87. Eaten shark (live on the ocean, remember?)
88. Kissed on the first date (but not the other ...)
89. Gone to Thailand (ooh - bigtime wish)
90. Bought a house (sweet little bungalow)
91. Been in a combat zone (not sure what colour to use here - does marriage count?)
92. Buried one/both of your parents (lucky enough to still have both)
93. Been on a cruise ship (been on fishing boats, etc.)
94. Spoken more than one language fluently (English/French)
95. Performed in Rocky Horror (liked the movie, but not obsessed ...)
96. Raised children (my darling little boy)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour (wish I could've last summer)
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country (whut's an exotic bicycle?)
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (thinking about it lately)
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (walked the 13 km Confederation Bridge)
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking (why should I care?)
103. Had plastic surgery (I hate my nose)
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived (two - broke my neck diving, and fell from a second storey window)
105. Wrote articles for a large publication (wrote for university news - music reviews)
106. Lost over 100 pounds (does the same 20 five times over count?)
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback (don't want to talk about this one)
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart (oh God, I hope so, because he crushed mine)
111. Helped an animal give birth (cat, dog, cow)
112. Won money on a T.V. game show (don't watch tv game shows)
113. Broken a bone (refer to #104)
114. Gone on an African photo safari (sounds amazing)
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears (don't like pain)
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (took a gun safety and marksmanship course)
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild (gathered them myself, too)
118. Ridden a horse (was obsessed as a teen)
119. Had major surgery ( a few - related to accidents)
120. Had a snake as a pet (want a ball python)
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (always been fascinating to me)
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours (only when ill)
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states (shamefully)
124. Visited all 7 continents (wish list again)
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days (whatever ...)
126. Eaten kangaroo meat (might be interesting)
127. Eaten sushi (not my favorite, but pretty good)
128. Had your picture in the newspaper (a few times)
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about (I'm a teacher - it's part of the job)
130. Gone back to school (I'm a teacher - it's part of the job)
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach (inadvertently, I assure you ...)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes (yum)
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey (first year university)
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read (Jane Austen)
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish, lobster, etc.)
137. Skipped all your school reunions (not exactly my thing)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language (Russian, Vietnamese)
139. Been elected to public office (um ...)
140. Written your own computer language (*blank stare* whut?)
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream (came close a few times)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care (wouldn't want to)
143. Built your own PC from parts (hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha)
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you (I'm counting cd's as artwork)
145. Had a booth at a street fair (every year)
146. Dyed your hair (I refuse to answer this one ...)
147. Been a DJ (dated one for a while, though)
148. Shaved your head (for my friend who had leukemia)
149. Caused a car accident (only myself involved - does that count as one?)
150. Saved someone’s life (couple years ago, a student told me that my intervention prevented her from committing suicide. I guess that counts.)

Gonna tag three people, just as if I had actually been called into play. Sometimes you've gotta do things for yourself. I tag Anndi, Sue (because she was hurt that I didn't tag her the last time) and Vinny. Go to it, guys!

29 November 2006


Without music, my life would be flat and empty. For as long as I can remember, it has been central to my very sense of being. So here are thirteen songs that have special meaning for me, in no particular order. The diversity surprised even me ...

1. Barry was my study-buddy at university. I named my first dog after this song.

By Barry Manilow

2. My dad used to sing this to my mom.

If You Could Read My Mind
By Gordon Lightfoot

3. I grew up in a fishing community. I am a proud Maritimer.

The Fisherman's Lament
By Great Big Sea

4. The first song I ever heard by the great "poet-bard", it stuck with me through all my years at university.

By Leonard Cohen

5. The first piece I studied under the guidance of Richard Boulanger.

Sonata for Piano No. 8 'Pathetique' in C minor, Op. 13
By Beethoven

6. My Gram used to sing this to me when we were small.

Grandma's Feather Bed
By John Denver

7. Just my favorite Aerosmith song. No reason in particular.

Rag Doll
By Aerosmith

8. The first song I ever heard by my Number One. I was hooked from that moment.

Into The Mystic
By Van Morrison

9. My brother is a prog rock fanatic, and he used to sit with me and talk to me about developping a discerning ear, while we listened to this song.

Tempus Fugit
By Yes

10. The contrast between the vocal styles of the two singers in this song gives me goosebumps.

Miserere (Live Version With John Miles)
By Andrea Bocelli

11. My first serious love used to sing this to me. He was no Hendrix, though.

Little Wing
By Jimi Hendrix

12. When I want to lose myself in the music, this is a good place to start. It was my introduction to the Blues.

Mannish Boy
By Muddy Waters

13. My first slow dance with a boy.

Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
By Journey


While My Guitar Gently Weeps
By The Jeff Healey Band


Pressed Rat And Warthog
By Cream

28 November 2006


Not much to say today, so I'll fall back on what seems to be a fairly appropriate audio clip. Don't laugh, it is a real song and actually got some radio play, according to my mom.

By Tony Bennett

27 November 2006


What's The Use Of Getting Sober (When You're Gonna Get Drunk Again)
By Joe Jackson

After considering topics based on all the great music I can now access for my blog (yes, that's how I'm deciding right now), this thought came to mind. I've talked about my present in substantially boring detail, but never really let you in on all the dirty little secrets of my past. Here's something that I bet you never suspected about me.

My parents were strict. So strict, in fact, that I often felt smothered. I know they were well-intentioned, but it nearly ruined my life. As you've probably realized, I will go out of my way to avoid conflict. I spent most of my youth trying to please parents who would never be happy with me as I was. So, when I finally got of my parents' house, I went wild.

My first year university is a blur to me. I became the ultimate party girl. Nothing was too extreme. I won't go into too much detail, but see that song up there? It could've been my theme song that year. I was lucky. I survived it nearly unscathed. It changed my path in life, though.

See, I had been a top student in high school and, after acing my piano entrance audition, earned a free ride scholarship to university. Yep - all expenses paid for four years, with an option to renew for my masters degree. By Christmas break, I was already on academic probation (NOT, as Bond would have you believe, on Double Secret Probation, though) and by the end of the second semester, my scholarship was history. My parents were scandalized and humiliated by my "performance" (their word for it). I, however, comfortably ensconced in my chemically-induced haze, couldn't have cared less.

Final exams arrived. Being as I was passing all my instrumental courses, I decided to stay until the end and get those credits. Besides, once exams were over, my residence had a big bash planned and there was no way I was missing that! No sir!

Thursday night, I walked out of my last exam and straight to the bootlegger, where I bought a quart of tequila. Fast forward. The party was all over the residence that night. I don't remember most of it, and only what I've been told. I was wearing a hot pink minidress, and my boyfriend's handmade cashmere Lopi sweater over it.

A bunch of us were sitting in a friend's room on the second floor. There were no seats available, so I was perched on the window sill. I leaned back, and fell out the window. Apparently, I flipped over, landed on my feet, and started to walk away before I fell down. I was pretty "relaxed", from all accounts. Regardless, I broke my leg, my arm, two fingers and several ribs on impact. They told me later that I cried when they had to cut the sweater off me, saying over and over again "Just pull it off - it won't hurt me" I had no idea at the time that the bones of my arm had pierced through the sleeve.

Strangely, this may have been the best thing that could've happened to me. I had to take a year off university in order to recover from my injuries. That year helped me to better understand myself. My physiotherapist told me I would probably never play the piano again with any degree of comfort, due to the broken fingers. I've never been one to remain passive in the face of a personal challenge.

When it came time for me to decide about my future, I enrolled in a different university, in music again. I will be eternally grateful to my grandmother, who convinced my parents to let me try again; to l'Universite de Moncton, for taking a chance on me; and to my beloved piano prof, Richard, who believed in me, bullied me and befriended me.

Now, three degrees later, I look back on those days as though it was a story that happened to someone else. I know I was lucky, and it's created a more cautious person within me, but the daredevil is still in there, too, just waiting for an opportunity to come out and play ...

26 November 2006


Everybody Hurts
By R.E.M.

This one's for anyone who has ever felt like this, because sometimes you just need to pick yourself up at the end of the day and show yourself that there's light at the end of the tunnel. It's a powerful lesson I learned this year: you can take comfort in your friends.

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on

'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts. You are not alone


Have I Told You Lately
By Van Morrison

In the soundtrack of my life, this particular song is an anthem that means more than any other. I've known it for years and always loved it, but it only became really meaningful to me about 3 years ago, on a plane ride across the country. I'm not sure why, but it filled my mind and soul as I sat, cradling my new son in my arms. As I sang it to him on that miserably crowded plane, it seemed to bind our hearts and calm our spirits. Last night, I sang it to him and it comforted us once again. This one's for you, my sweet Brennan. I love you.

Can anyone please explain to me how to get rid of the annoying whirlygig and disconnect the automatic play feature? Any help at all would be much appreciated.

25 November 2006


This is my first one of these, so bear with me ...

3 Things that scare me: spiders; being alone; the future

3 People who make me laugh: Jon Stewart; Eric Idle; Vinny

3 Things I love: the blues; my job; my musical instrument collection

3 Things I hate: gangsta rap; yelling; the excuses people give for abandoning their pets at the animal shelter

3 Things I don't understand: deliberate cruelty; violence; income tax forms

3 Things on my desk: pictures of Brennan; laptop; a pile of dinky cars

3 Things I'm doing right now: listening to Van Morrison; patting the dog; eating a Timbit

3 Things I want to do before I die: meet my online friends; take Brennan to Italy to see the Great Masters; go on a mission to a third-world country

3 Things I can do: play the piano; speak French; teach

3 Things I can't do: change the past; predict the future; smile when I'm unhappy

3 Things I think you should listen to: your conscience; old people who have a story to tell; good music

3 Things you should never listen to: politicians; gossip; gangsta rap

3 Things I'd like to learn: how to tell if a person is lying to me; how to speak Spanish; how to attach music to my blog

3 Favorite foods: moussaka; veal parmegiana; steamed lobster

3 Beverages I drink regularly: water; skim milk; lemonade

3 Shows I watched as a kid: Mr. Dressup; The Friendly Giant; Bugs Bunny

Now is the time I tag three other people ... ok, Dixie, Dana and Dante ... you're it!


After yesterday's blogpost, I honestly didn't think things could get any better. I was completely off-base on that, I can tell you. After I got up, said good morning and fed "Taylor the Azalea" (not sure how he's gonna feel about having a hot pink plant named after him), and took Daisy for a walk, the phone rang. More good news. My brother and his family are coming down today for the Santa Claus parade. It's the biggest one east of Montreal, which is pretty significant for this one-horse town. So, not only do I get to spend the entire afternoon and evening with my son, I also get the best parts of my family around me AND my dear old friend F-X, too. Only the presence of two other people would complete the perfection of this day (you know who you are). Another day in which to count my many blessings.

24 November 2006


What an incredible day. It is payday, so I decided to get my hair cut (seriously overdue). My coiffeuse, an old friend, is located off the lobby of the best hotel in town. I had just left the salon and was strolling through the lobby, enjoying the Christmas decorations, when I heard a deep voice say "Excuse me, but don't I know you?" I looked up, and there stood my dear old friend, Francois-Xavier. He and his partner have been living for the past few years in Quebec City, and we have been mostly out of touch for that time, although never out of one another's minds.

Yesterday, I had mentioned his name in my Thursday 13 blog. He was my best friend at university, and I have missed him. He and Marc have moved back to the area, purchased a house and are planning on staying put! I am deliriously happy about this, for completely selfish reasons. Francois-Xavier was one person with whom I could always be completely myself, without pretense. He would think there was something wrong if I wasn't occasionally bitchy, or depressed, or manic. He was always the same way, anyway. LOL.

After that exquisite reunion, I arrived home tonight to a message that some of my other friends had sent me flowers to brighten my day. I don't remember the last time someone did that. It made me cry with happiness. Ann, Vinny: talk about shining, happy people - I am absolutely glowing. I'm not sure I am deserving of such kindness but, man, it feels amazing!

I'm not asking for anything else for Christmas this year, because I have one of the greatest gifts imaginable. Thank you, God, for the friendships in my life. They are infinitely more precious to me than any other gift I could wish for. I feel truly blessed to have these wonderful people as a part of my world.

23 November 2006


Ok, after listening to each about 20 times, Runaround has grown on me. I can see the appeal. It's a bit immature melodically, and way too mainstream, but it's bouncy and upbeat and catchy. The drummer is inspired, btw. Not sure it will stand out, but it's not a bad choice for an Idol release. Reminds me a bit of Phil Collins in the 80's, to be honest. (think "Can't Hurry Love") Every musician does stuff like this in their career. It won't be remembered as his greatest hit, but it's a decent enough start. It still sounds like Taylor, too, which garners bonus points in my books.

I'd prefer not to talk about Dream Myself Awake, it's that blech to me, but I will force myself. This song, after numerous listens, is still unremarkable. I've heard a million just like it, and even hearing Taylor's voice singing it doesn't improve it. To me, it's an album filler. I kind of hoped Taylor would be able to avoid that sort of thing, but there it is. The lyrics are stagnant and hackneyed, the melody is repetitive and uninteresting. This song even sucks the originality out of Taylor's sound. It could be anybody's song, even JT. Hope to God they don't release this as a single.

And now, my dear friends ... let's go to The Right Place. This is a prayer. It's a hosanna of a song. The match to Taylor's voice is uncanny. Whoever wrote this is brilliant beyond belief. Even now, after 35 - 36 - 37 listens, I can do nothing else when I hear it but listen. The world slows, and this song becomes the pulse in my veins. The melody is poignant, yet powerful. The instrumentation is inspired in its simplicity. That piano part - I can hardly wait to get my hands on it! During those emotion-laden pauses, I find myself holding my breath. Taylor's voice caresses this song with a lover's hands. It breaks my heart that it is unlikely to be his first single off the album, because it's without a doubt the most representational of Taylor's roots, and demonstrates all the best qualities of his voice. Reasonably, though, I know the first single is usually upbeat, which makes Runaround the best option (of these three).


I'm going to keep it short and simple. My blog theme this week is relationships. I got the idea from the very poignant Chris Reeve quote at the top there. Plus, today is Thanksgiving in the USA, and even though I'm not an American, I have some very close friends who are. So, in their honour, here are 13 relationships that I am thankful for:

1. My son Brennan. He came into my life as a gift, and has enriched my life immeasurably ever since. I love you, Booboo.

2. My brother Eric (Bubba). If ever I needed to know that someone had my back, all I had to do all my life was look to you. You're still doing it. Thank you for all that you are.

3. My grandmother, Christiana. If there was one person in my life who made me into the person I am today, it would be you. You accepted me and loved me unconditionally all my life. You taught me what is important in the world, and what is just window dressing. I miss you every day, Gram.

4. My oldest friends, Juanita, Angy, Rhonda, Francois-Xavier, Sylvain. My support system here at home. We may be involved in our own lives right now, but we've always been there for each other when it mattered the most. Thank you for still being my friends even when we can't be together.

5. My newest friends, Vinny, Anndi, Sue, Dana, and all those members of the Soul Patrol with whom I've shared so much of my life this year. You have changed me, opened me up to new possibilities. I can't name every one of you here, but your names are imprinted on my heart forever.

6. My parents. Mom and Dad, you didn't always understand me, but I've always known you love me. Thank you for everything you've been, every value you've modelled. And thank you especially for so readily accepting Brennan and demonstrating love to him.

7. My colleagues and friends, Robin, Abbey, Debbie, Erica, Monique. You've been there for me so many times when I needed a distraction from life's little vagaries.

8. My band and choir members. This may sound weird, but I love my job with a passion that knows no bounds. The job itself is like a most delicious cake, but the kids involved in my extracurricular endeavors, well, they are the icing on the cake. This is where I get to know them on a more individual basis. This is where I can do the most good. This is where they really touch my heart.

9. My students. Sometimes they are angels, sometimes they test my patience. Through it all, they are themselves in a way adults seldom are. I get to know them as they are developping into the people they will be for the rest of their lives. If I am lucky, they remember some of what I teach them: to mind their manners; to work hard; how being kind costs nothing but repays huge dividends; to leave things behind you a little bit better than they were before you arrived. Yeah, I teach music, too, but there's so much more than that to my job.

10. My niece and nephew. Rachel and Nick, you were "my" kids before Brennan came along. I am so glad you are a part of our lives.

11. Mandy and Daisy. You have been my comfort and my security for so many years. I know you are "just" dogs, but my life would have been so empty without you. Mandy, we miss you, pumpkin.

12. Richard. Many of the people who read this will have never heard your name, or previously known of the impact you have had on my life. When you took me on as a student, no one was more astounded than I was. Everybody knew you only accepted the most gifted pianists. I don't know if you saw something in me that no one else ever had, but within a year, you had molded me into something more than simply adequate. I know it disappointed you when I ended my career as a concert pianist, but we all know now that my destiny was preordained, and you have forgiven me for becoming a lowly teacher, haven't you? I've only told you this a couple of times, mon ami: Je t'aime, mon cher prof.

13. My ex-husband. Some of you may find it odd that I included him here, but it is for a very good reason. Thank you, Dave, for showing me all the things I don't want in my future relationships. It may have taken me eleven years to learn that particular lesson, but my life is mine now, in a way it never was before, and I have your (albeit difficult) lessons to thank for the recent changes in my world.

22 November 2006


I registered on the American Idol website in February 2006. Since that time, I have met some of the most wonderful people I have ever known. We have shared our lives, our stories and our creativity with one another. We have supported one another through good times and bad.

These have, ironically, been the best months and the worst months of my life. My time with the Soul Patrol has kept me sane, while my life was seemingly falling apart around me. A few have gone far beyond what one could reasonably expect in the name of friendship. They are people whose names are engraved upon my heart for all time.

I am not a poet, an artist, or a writer. I can't give them what others can. It is so little to dedicate a blog to them, yet I know they will understand that these words come from the deepest, most secret part of my heart, where I keep my most precious treasures. As my gift, I would like to dedicate to them one of my favorite songs. You are my treasures, my dearest friends. I will always love you.


Words are flying out like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy are drifting thorough my open mind
Possessing and caressing me

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes
That call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box
they tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter shades of life are ringing through my open ears
exciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai guru deva om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Jai guru deva
Jai guru deva

15 November 2006



All the usual phrases seem so trite in the face of such a huge loss. I only hope you will find comfort in knowing you expressed your love for your dad with everything you did and said. You amazed me every day with the strength of your devotion. Your parents must have been incredible role models to have taught you such selflessness. I know the only support I can offer you is prayer. I hope it is some comfort to you.

Hugs, Corinna

LEADER OF THE BAND - Dan Fogelberg

An only child
Alone and wild
A cabinet maker's son
His hands were meant
For different work
And his heart was known
To none --

He left his home
And went his lone
And solitary way
And he gave to me
A gift I know I never
Can repay

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldnt wait
He earned his love
Through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand.

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band.

My brothers lives were
For they heard another call
One went to Chicago
And the other to St. Paul
And I'm in Colorado
When I'm not in some hotel
Living out this life I've chose
And come to know so well.

I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go --
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, papa, I don't think
I said I love you near enough --

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
Im just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
I am the living legacy
To the leader of the band.

MY FATHER'S EYES - Eric Clapton

Sailing down behind the sun,
Waiting for my prince to come.
Praying for the healing rain
To restore my soul again.

Just a toerag on the run.
How did I get here? What have I done?
When will all my hopes arise?
How will I know him?

When I look in my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.
When I look in my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.

Then the light begins to shine
And I hear those ancient lullabies.
And as I watch this seedling grow,
Feel my heart start to overflow.

Where do I find the words to say?
How do I teach him? What do we play?
Bit by bit, I've realized
That's when I need them,

That's when I need my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.
That's when I need my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.

Then the jagged edge appears
Through the distant clouds of tears.
I'm like a bridge that was washed away;
My foundations were made of clay.

As my soul slides down to die.
How could I lose him? What did I try?
Bit by bit, I've realized
That he was here with me;

I looked into my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.
I looked into my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.

11 November 2006

HEROES - Part Two

When a catastrophe happens it's easy to feel so sorry for yourself that you can't even see anybody around you. But the way out is through your relationships. The way out of that misery or obsession is to focus more on what your little boy needs or what your teenagers need or what other people around you need. It's very hard to do, and often you have to force yourself. But that is the answer to the dilemma of being frozen -- at least it's the answer I found. - Christopher Reeve, 2001

He had a MAJOR acting career in film and was an accomplished stage actor; he did all kinds of charitable work; he had a wife and children. He was doing a lot of good and he was making a lot of money.
Then he fell off a horse and broke his neck. In that split second, he lost everything. He had to relearn life as a quadriplegic. But Chris Reeve did not let that be the end of his story. He fought back. He forced people to give him work. His wife, his children and his friends supported his efforts. Everyone commented on how he would not quit.

Physically, he had to depend on others to do most of the work, but he was the motivating force. He's the one who did all the travelling, and made all the appearances. He constantly pushed the doctors to find solutions. He spent his money to do all this, even though he was earning next to nothing.

For a while, he couldn't even get Hollywood to give him work. But he never gave up. He worked harder. He made them give him roles; he made people take notice. Between 1996 and 2004, he narrated, directed or acted in a dozen projects, for both television and film, which garnered several award nominations, including five Emmys and a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award win for his role in the remake of Hitchcock's Rear Window. He also wrote and published two autobiographical books, both of which spent several months on the New York Times Bestsellers List.

It has been said that he did more to promote research of spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders than anyone in history.

  • He used his name to bring these issues into the public eye.
  • He gave an impassioned speech at the 1996 Academy Awards about Hollywood's duty to make movies that face the world's most important issues head-on.
  • He hosted the Paralympics in Atlanta.
  • He was elected as Chairman of the American Paralysis Association and Vice Chairman of the National Organization on Disability.
  • He became a lobbyist for people with spinal cord injuries and for stem cell research.
  • He founded the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which, to date, has given more than $65 million for research and more than $8.5 million in quality-of-life grants.
  • He co-founded the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, one of the leading spinal cord research centers in the world.
  • He founded the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center. Its mission is to teach paralyzed people to live more independently.

Despite the odds, Christopher Reeve lived a fulfilling, meaningful life. On October 10 , 2004 , he died of heart failure at the age of 52. His doctor believed that it was an adverse reaction to an antibiotic that caused his death.

Since the creation of Superman in 1932, thirteen actors have taken on the role in television and film but, for me, because of all he was, and all he accomplished in his life, Christopher Reeve will always be the one and only Superman.


I had intended to present the next installment in my HERO series today, but it will have to wait, as my head feels like it is about to explode, and I can't focus for more than a few minutes at a time. In it's place, here's a bit of fluff I borrowed from someone else's blog ... can't remember whose. My apologies to whomever that is. Apparently this is who I am. Don't know if that is correct or not. You decide, ok?

***Your Expression Number is 6***
You have an outstanding sense of responsibility, love, and balance.You are helpful and inclined to comfort those in need.You have many artistic and creative talents, but you only use them to better others.
You are loving, friendly, and appreciative of others.You have a depth of understanding that produces much kindness and generosity.Openness and honesty are apparent in your approach to all relationships.
Sometimes, you can be too demanding of yourself.At times, you tend to sacrifice yourself for the welfare of others.At other times, you have trouble distinguishing between helping and interfering.
What's Your Expression Number?

10 November 2006

I don't want anybody to worry if they don't see me for a little while this weekend. First of all, Brennan wasn't with me, and second of all, I'm ok. Just had a little car accident on the way home when a neuralgia attack took me by surprise. I thought the meds were doing the trick in controlling it, but I guess not. I was lucky. It was rush hour, but I managed to steer the car into a tree instead of into oncoming traffic. Crumpled the bumper and wrecked a headlight. Not too bad. Bumped my head pretty hard - think it knocked me out for a minute - and had the wind knocked out of me by the airbag - think I'll be bruised tomorrow - but nobody else got hurt, so I'm really happy about that. I'm a bit dizzy, but that will pass soon, I'm sure. Maybe that's just my normal state, anyway. Lol.

09 November 2006


Always looking for new ideas to put on my blog. Thanks for introducing me to this idea, Bond. Hope it's ok, but I kind of modelled my first Thursday Thirteen after his, because I'm not sure what I'm doing here yet. Most of my regulars know almost everything of note there is to know about me, but for anybody who doesn't, here's thirteen things about ... ME.


1. My astrological sign is Cancer, on the cusp of Gemini. I display characteristics of both signs pretty equally, so that I guess that means I have a moody split personality.

2. I became a music teacher because of my soul-deep love for just about any type of music, but I remain in this thankless, crazy-making gig because I discovered that I love kids even more than the music.

3. I taught piano and composition at l'Universite Laval in Quebec for two years, before returning to my heartland to become a high school music teacher.

4. Van Morrison ... need I say more? Every song he's ever written or performed has touched my soul in ways that defy coherent explanation.

5. I am afraid of spiders. I don't care how big or how small they look to YOU, they are all enormous in my eyes. I am also convinced that they know I'm afraid of them, and they chase me ...

6. The last tv show I watched all the way through was the American Idol Season Five Finale in May.

7. Cooking is a double-edged sword for me. I love it, but I get distracted easily and often forget that there's something on the stove or in the oven ...

8. I was a runway model for a brief time while in high school. It was the first and last time I've ever been bored by something I've voluntarily signed up for.

9. At one point in my life, I seriously considered becoming a professional photographer. I especially love b&w, as there's something so starkly evocative about it.

10. My three best friends from elementary school are still three of my best friends. We've been together for 32 years now.

11. I love to eat, especially exotic foods. My absolute favorites are just about anything Thai or Greek. As a result, I only just recently lost that nasty 30 lbs. that's been plaguing my life for years.

12. I am pretty much equally fluent in both English and French.

13. No matter what, I consider myself a very lucky person in life. I have a great kid, a job that I love, and wonderful friends. Maybe life isn't always perfect, but most of the time, it's pretty damned good.

Ok, I'll admit it - I choked. I was going to tell some nasty little secrets, but when it came time, I couldn't bear to see them in print. Maybe the next time. Thanks for reading about me.

08 November 2006

HEROES - Part One

So many people are doing so many good things, but still only a fraction of the world's population are willing to get their hands, and their reputations, dirty. For the next few days, it's my plan to recognize some of these heroes who have impressed me with their willingness to go the distance.


"We cannot fix every problem, but the ones we can, we must."

1984/85 - Band Aid and Live Aid participant
1986 - Conspiracy of Hope tour for Amnesty Int'l.
1999 - Drop the Debt campaign begins, to free third-world countries from their unpayable debts
2001 - participant in Amnesty benefit concert
2002 - meets with President Bush about human rights
2002 - tour of 4 African countries
- sets up DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa)

"I'm looking forward to the moment they tell me, 'Bono, you're Irish. Go home. We've got it handled.'"

2003 - nominated for "Nobel Peace Prize"
- donated a series of original paintings to raise funds for the "Irish Hospice Foundation"
2005 - meets with Prime Minister Paul Martin about foreign aid
- launches EDUN line, to encourage fair trade in Africa
- Live 8 organizer
- TIME magazine's "Person of the Year"
- nominate for "Nobel Peace Prize"
2006 - encourages the care of socio-economically depressed people at Nat'l Prayer Breakfast
- nominated for "Nobel Peace Prize"
- launches "RED" charity to help fight AIDS, TB and malaria in Africa
- receives "German Media Prize" for his work against poverty in Africa

"We may have fancy shoes, or in my case flip-flops, and we may be the worst examples of the excesses of the West but in these meetings we represent the poor and I take that job very seriously. I try to use my celebrity as a loudhailer for those who have lost their voice."


I know it's early, but I have a good reason for talking about Remembrance Day (Veteran's Day?) today. See, when I first began teaching, I observed, with a fair amount of dismay, the lack of participation and understanding of my students when it came to the observation of November 11 as an important event on the calendar. Many students viewed it simply as a day free from school.

In my third year as a teacher, I jumped up on my soapbox, preparing my band and choir and classes for a short Remembrance Day presentation. I didn't ask permission from the administration because, as anyone in the teaching profession knows, it's easier and more expedient to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

Each subsequent year, my presentation grew a little and received more and more support, until it became a community-wide event. Now I've been doing it for ten years, and it's pretty well organized. Middle school classes prepare songs, poems and artwork with which they decorate the school. High school classes prepare writings on their thoughts about Remembrance Day, their own compositions, slideshows, Powerpoint presentations, and instrumental or vocal selections. Auditions are held, then a lottery choosing eleven from the best of the student presentations. Community leaders prepare readings and veterans talk about their memories. Of course, my band and choir practice selections which are automatically included in the proceedings.

It's a lot of work, especially as it falls at the same time as midterms and report cards, but it's incredibly rewarding to see the excitement generated around an event that had been heretofore pretty well neglected in this region. Most of the community turns out for the actual presentation here at the school, and attendance is up at the community Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 11, as well. I am proud of the students and the community for stepping up to the plate and taking this cause to heart. The veterans and the Ladies' Auxiliary, as well as our numerous peacekeepers, have been incredibly appreciative, and many are moved to tears by the respect demonstrated to them by our students, not only here in the school, but year round, out in the community.

It's amazing to see the far-reaching effects of this little project that I started. I am so proud of my school and their community for stepping up to the plate this way, and showing that they will not forget the sacrifices made for our freedom.

07 November 2006


This is a bit of a departure for me, but maybe I can make it work for my own particular style of blogging. Thanks to Dana Bunny for suggesting this to me, btw.

I hope it doesn't disappoint you, because I'm POSITIVE this is not going to be what you expect. When I sat down to make the preliminary list of beautiful women that I would include on my list (yes, I make lists, and I make rough copies ... I'm a teacher!), the first people that popped into my head were not celebrities, nor were they classically beautiful. Nevertheless, that's the direction I'm going to have to take, because I couldn't think of anybody else once my mind started going down that path. My apologies for including a name that is of personal interest to me, included because I've known some truly beautiful people and I couldn't consider this blog complete without naming at least one.

5 Most Beautiful Women (in no particular order):

1. Molly Brown has always held a certain fascination for me. I live only a two hour drive from the cemetary where the victims of the Titanic were buried, and grew up knowing the stories as well as any Maritime kid. That fascination led me to research a little more about this wonderful philanthropist. Molly Brown married James Joseph Brown, who worked in the Colorado silver mines. While her husband advanced to superintendent in the mines, Molly started soup kitchens and became active in women's rights. After a move to Denver, she helped found the Denver Woman's Club and worked for juvenile courts. In 1909 and 1914 she ran for Congress. She spearheaded a campaign that raised money to build the Roman Catholic cathedral in Denver. Molly Brown was traveling in Egypt in 1912 when she received word that her grandson was ill. She booked passage on the Titanic to return home. Her heroism in assisting other survivors was recognized, and included the French Legion of Honour. Molly was head of the Titanic Survivors' Committee which supported immigrants who had lost everything in the disaster, and helped to get a memorial erected to the Titanic survivors in Washington, DC.

2. I met Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. A small number of teens studying music in NB were chosen to perform for the royal couple on their yacht. I sang a song in gaelic, and completely crucified the pronunciation. So much so, that Prince Charles looked confused and later asked me what language it was. I remember Lady Di as being the kind of person with whom you felt instantly at ease. She chatted comfortably with us for a while, making certain we all were included in the conversation. I was very impressed by her, especially since she was only 3 years older than us, even though her poise and manner gave her an air of maturity well beyond ours.

Starting in the mid-to-late 1980s, Diana became well known for her support of charity projects. She was the first celebrity to be photographed knowingly touching a person infected with HIV. Bill Clinton summarized the impact of this when he said:
"In 1987, when so many still believed that AIDS could be contracted through casual contact, Princess Diana sat on the sickbed of a man with AIDS and held his hand. She showed the world that people with AIDS deserve no isolation, but compassion and kindness."
Diana also made unpublicized visits to show kindness to terminally- ill AIDS patients. She is also believed to have influenced the signing, by the governments of the UK and other nations in December, 1997, of the Ottawa Treaty, which created an international ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines. One of the most publicized appearances by Princess Diana was her visit to Angola when she visited landmine survivors in hospitals.

I know there are many stories about her personal struggles with bulimia and depression, but these only underscore my admiration for her. She was only human, with human frailties, but she used her celebrity in a positive way.

3. My favorite female actress, Katharine Hepburn was best known for roles in which she played strong, sophisticated women. However, I admire her because she was such a strong, intelligent woman herself, as evidenced by these quotes. (I always wanted to be like her.)

  • I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex.
  • Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around wondering about yourself.
  • Everyone thought I was bold and fearless and even arrogant, but inside I was always quaking.
  • If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
  • Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving.

4. Christiana Elizabeth Colliss-MacLatchy was a woman of great creativity and insight. She was a founding member of the charitable organization"Friends of the Moncton Hospital" and the local chapter of the "Women's Institute" service club. She was active in the Women's Auxiliary, Girl Guides of Canada and the Anglican Church Women's group. She taught courses at the YWCA in quilting and advanced sewing. With all that, she still found the time to be a great wife and mother, a good friend and neighbour and a fantastic grandmother.

I remember her unfailing kindness and generosity towards others. There was no "meals on wheels" program in our small community, so my grandmother took it upon herself to organize one, providing and delivering many of the meals herself. She played the organ at her church, and led sing-alongs on Sunday afternoons for anyone who cared to drop by. I remember her house as always being graced by the presence of friends. Afternoon tea parties, quilting bees, sewing groups: something was always going on at my grandmother's house. It was a hub of activity in the community. Even my friends always felt the welcome, to the point that they would often visit her, even if I wasn't there.

With everything that she did, what I remember best about Gram was that she always had time to do things with me. Sometimes she involved me in whatever activity she was embroiled in at the time, but often, it was just the two of us. How I loved our chats! She taught me so much: how to quilt, how to sew a flat seam, how to knit, how to cook and bake. But she also taught me a lot about life: the importance of having a sense of humour, the importance of giving back to your community, the personal benefits to being kind and gentle towards others. My grandmother was my role model and my hero. She still is.

5. My final choice is perhaps the godliest humanitarian ever to live. I don't feel my words can do her justice, but I believe these words will serve:

"Mother Teresa marked the history of our century with courage. She served all human beings by promoting their dignity and respect, and made those who had been defeated by life feel the tenderness of God.''
- Pope John Paul II

The unconditional love for humankind as expressed by Mother Teresa may never be matched in our lifetime. I find there is much in her to honour:
  • Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don't only give your care, but give your heart as well.
  • "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."
  • There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives - the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them.

06 November 2006


NOVEMBER 7, 2006

This is a picture of my peace globe. Well, folks. Now you know my deepest, darkest secret. I am a technological nimrod. My blog will never have the fancy bells and whistles, simply because it is beyond me to successfully complete anything but the simplest task on a computer. Nevertheless, I am a peace-loving human being who wants to be in on this World Peace thingy, so I'm going to do what I can to further the cause.

Here ya go - can't have a peace rally without this song:

Two, one, two, three, four
Ev'rybody's talking about Bagism,
Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, That-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m
All we are saying is give peace a chance,
All we are saying is give peace a chance
C'mon Ev'rybody's talking about ministers, Sinister, Banisters
And canisters, Bishops, Fishops, Rabbis, and Pop eyes,
Bye, bye, bye byes
All we are saying is give peace a chance,
All we are saying is give peace a chance
Let me tell you now Revoluton, evolution, masturbation,
Flagellation, regulation, integrations, Meditations,
United Nations,Congratulations
Ev'rybody's talking about John and Yoko,
Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy Smothers,
Bobby Dylan,Tommy Copper,Derek Taylor,
Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg,
Hare Krishna,
Hare, Hare Krishna

And this one, from the Black-Eyed Peas, which I think has a lot of merit, too:

What's wrong with the world, mama
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma
Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin'In the USA, the big CIA
The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK
But if you only have love for your own race

Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah
Badness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how angers works and operates
Nigga, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek
Father, Father, Father help us
Send us some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love

It just ain't the same, always unchanged
New days are strange, is the world insane
If love and peace is so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong
Nations droppin' bombs
Chemical gasses fillin' lungs of little ones
With the ongoin' sufferin' as the youth die young
So ask yourself is the lovin' really gone

So I could ask myself really what is goin' wrong
In this world that we livin' in people keep on givin'in
Makin' wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respectin' each other, deny thy brother
A war is goin' on but the reason's undercover
The truth is kept secret, it's swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love

Where's the love, y'all, come on
Where's the truth, y'all, come on
Where's the love, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek
Father, Father, Father help us
Send us some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' our own direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema

Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead in spreading love we spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found

05 November 2006


This is my dog Mandy. She passed away in her sleep a few weeks ago. For some reason, I have been thinking about her a lot today. I wasn't able to publish her picture the day I needed to, so I wanted to do that today. She was almost 12 years old (her birthday is Jan. 7). I miss her every day.

She had a sweet temperament and was a real marshmallow, but at the same time, she was more than willing to protect her family. More times than I care to remember, she got between me and my husband, taking kicks and punches that were intended for me.

When we adopted my son, I worried that Mandy would be jealous, as she was getting on in years, but she absorbed him into her "pack" immediately. Mandy was always afraid of the water, but whenever we were at the beach, she was no more than an arms length from Brennan, protecting him from his own fearlessness, slogging through the water at his side, shaking in mortal terror, but never once leaving his side. At home, she always positioned herself between him and the road, and even "herded" him a few times when she got uncomfortable with where he was headed.

Mandy's mother was a beautiful purebred silver Siberian Husky with ice-blue eyes. Her father was the neighbourhood mutt, who was mostly Border collie. The family who owned Mandy's mom had delivered the litter to the local animal shelter to be adopted out, or destroyed. We got Mandy after only four months of marriage, when things were still pretty good between us. The rest of the litter, we found out later, was euthanized because of overcrowding at the animal shelter. If we had been one day later, Mandy would've suffered the same fate. It is no exaggeration when I tell you that I doubt I would've survived my marriage without having her with me. She was my comfort, my physical and emotional security, more times than I care to count.

I could go on and on about my wonderful girl, but no one would want to read it except me, and I have my memories of Mandy to keep her close to my heart. Mandy, baby girl, I will always love you and never forget you. You were the best part of my life for so many years. Such a good, good girl.

04 November 2006


Just got back from listening to Taylor Hicks' new clip at Wish I hadn't gone. To say I was disappointed is a gross understatement. Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" was my favorite cover from Taylor's pre-idol days. I felt his passion for the music down to the bone when I listened to it, over and over, on GC in the early days. I couldn't get enough of Taylor's incredible take on this classic tune. Well, things change ... or so it seems. Maybe.

So, here's my take on this car-wreck of a video clip. It LOOKS like Taylor has forgotten the words, forgotten the tune, forgotten the passion. There is absolutely no artistic connection between him and the musicians. There is no joy in this performance. Don't believe me? Go watch the video clip and look at their faces. They are simply going through the motions, but only just barely. I had to force myself to watch it more than once, so I could be truly certain of what I was witnessing.

To be completely honest, at first when I watched it, I felt sickened with betrayal. How could Taylor allow such failure, when this song means so much to him on a personal level? Then I got to thinking. Taylor knows this song down deep in his soul. He owns it. He feels this song more than almost any other that he has done. How do I know this? He made me feel what he feels when he sings it, from the first time I heard it on GC. Then it struck me. This is not the performance he's got in him. Those of us who have followed his career closely know this. For whatever reason, he and the musicians in the band are NOT giving us their real take on it in this video. I don't think it was a bad day, or a bad take. I think this was done deliberately. I'm not going to try and guess the reasons. I just have confidence that Taylor has more respect for Ray Charles than this horrible representation suggests. It doesn't prevent me, however, from wholeheartedly wishing that this particular video clip had never been released. It's that bad. Just my humble opinion, folks.

03 November 2006


Friday, November 3rd, 2006 PST
Cancer (June 21 - Jul 22)
Emotional anxiety may surface today as the rug is pulled from beneath your feet. Your fears, however, are probably more dangerous than the actual circumstances. You could be offered a measure of freedom from something that has been holding you back, but still come up with reasons to stay put. Step up to the plate and face your demons, as the potential for a successful breakthrough is very strong.

I really, really hope that my horoscope comes true today. Or, at least, the last part of it. Today, I have that court appearance I've been dreading. I haven't been talking about my situation with my husband much lately, and that's because there hasn't been much to tell. No news is good news, I guess. Today, however, I have to face down the men who accosted us outside the soup kitchen, and I'm really afraid. My brain tells me there's no reason to be, but the heart is another thing altogether. I don't express myself well in stressful situations, and I'm afraid that I won' t be convincing enough. I'm afraid that the judge won't understand about the fear and the anxiety that those men caused in my son and in me. I'm afraid that he won't do enough to prevent those men from scaring us, or hurting us, again.

Ok, time to go do this thing. Please say a quick prayer for me, if you get a minute. Thank you.

02 November 2006


What American accent do you have?
Your Result: North Central

"North Central" is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw "Fargo" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.

The West
The Midland
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
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I got this little quiz from Dana's blog. Laughed out loud when I read the results, because I have at least one friend here who will find it funny that I was identified as probably sounding like a Canadian ... eh, what's that all aboot?