Friday, April 19, 2013

My Thoughts

Is it just me or has there been an obscene amount of sadness this week?

I can't even imagine what went through the minds of those runners and fans in the first minutes of that chaos. What must it be like to witness that? To smell the burning flesh and fumes from the bombs? It just breaks my heart with a sadness and helplessness that is only comparable to the feelings I felt the morning of September 11, 2001.

What makes someone hate THAT much? Don't get me wrong, I have stumbled across people throughout my short time on Earth where I thought, "Ugh. I hate her/him!" But I've never hated someone so much I literally wanted to take their life, and I can't even begin to wrap my brain around wanting to annihilate an entire country and culture of people because of my hatred.

What do we do when the world seems so desperately dark? What do we do when we feel a sense of hopelessness for our future and our childrens' futures? How we do continue to see the good in humanity when it seems like there is no goodness left?

Some people pray. Some people cling tightly to their family or their friends. Some people go out and do good for others to remind themselves (and others) that there is indeed some good on Earth. Some people just retreat further into their holes, imaging a sense of safety in their solitude.

What do I do? A little bit of it all, I guess. I have faith and a loving, forgiving God that I turn to for comfort. I have family and friends that I want to hug and simply say "I love you". I try to give someone an extra smile or a little bit of extra help just so they know not everyone in the world is bitter and afraid. And yet in spite of this, part of me still wants to hide under my bed with my baby, husband, and dog.

But we can't. We can't hide from our new reality and our new world. Why would we want to? Because as much as that part of me wants to run scared, I know I can't. We can't. Because if all the good people run and hide, then they will have won. They will have achieved their goals and we, as a nation and as a whole subset of good people, will have lost.

There is a quote floating about on The Facebooks from Mr. Rodgers (as in PBS' Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood) that basically says something like "When something bad happens, look at the people who are helping". And I'm sure you've seen video footage from Boston where dozens of people are running toward the smoke and carnage to help the victims.

There is the good. And there is indeed, a lot of good.

Monday, April 8, 2013

I Heart Karaoke

Here is a little known fact about yours truly...I love some karaoke.

Have you ever seen someone get onstage, grab the microphone, and just completely silence the crowd with a totally Idol-worthy performance of "Fancy" or maybe even "Purple Rain"?

Well, that's not me.

Don't get me wrong, in reality I completely realize that I am by no means talented. I can carry a tune, and maybe even do it halfway decently, but NO ONE is mistaking me for Carrie Underwood. (And it ain't just because of my legs). In my head (and in the privacy of my shower) I sound ah-mazing!

But here's the thing about karaoke, and it's what makes me love it even more...

You don't have to be great, you just need to commit.

I am a self-proclaimed karaoke professional, performing in exciting venues from Troy, AL to the famous taverns of Dauphin Island. (The Pub and The Oarhouse, maybe you've heard of me?) What I have found to be true across the nation (or southern region of Alabama, whatever) is that the crowd just wants a show.

So whether it be a version of Salt & Peppa's "Push It" or an old classic like "Freebird", you just have to entertain. Nobody expects it to be perfect, but everyone expects it to be funny, loud, and sang with enthusiasm. And, if at all possible, get the crowd involved. Everyone loves to sing along with "Sweet Caroline" and Heaven help us all, "Sweet Home Alabama".

Just grab the microphone, and take the stage like you really are Carrie Underwood. Or a white-girl version of Salt & Peppa in a Banana Republic sundress and cardigan.

I have a couple of songs in my wheelhouse, and I tend to stick with what I know. For instance, I can't sing high notes worth a darn, so I like to go with some Janis Joplin or Bonnie Rait. Or maybe even some Jimmy Buffett or Alabama if the mood seems right.

And although there was that one time I sang 'Wind Beneath My Wings" on a dare in college, I usually play it safe. (By the way, the wager was free drinks all night if I would sing it a la Bette Midler, and I totally. rocked. it.)

That's why I like karaoke so much -- it's not so much about the talent, it's about the effort. And if you're in the audience, remember to cheer. It takes a lot of testicular fortitude to get up on stage and sing in public, so remember to clap and sing along like you're watching the next big thing on the music scene.

Unless you happen to catch me singing "Wind Beneath My Wings" again, in which case just sit back and enjoy the experience. And record it on your handy-dandy iPhone for future blackmail opportunities.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Playing Catch Up

Everytime I log into my blog, I think "I've GOT to write and update more!" How am I ever going to get a book deal like a bazillion other bloggers if I don't actually blog? It seems that the ones who do make it "famous" are the ones who write and update every single day. So I'm trying.

Quite a few not-so-exciting things have happened since my last post, so I hope you're sitting down while you read this.

H and I went to Baytowne Wharf for our anniversary last month. Here was the criteria for our vacation destination:

A) Must be within a few hours drive from my front door
B) Somewhere we had never been as a couple
C) Easy access to meet the babysitters, aka Mimi and PawPaw

So we settled on San Destin, and it was really nice. Baytown Wharf was cool and really different from the places we normally go (New Orleans, Orange Beach, Dauphin Island, Kinston). It's funny because the vacations we used to take were full of wild nights on the town, sleeping until noon or later, then starting the cycle over again. These days, our vacations are a little more subdued. Ha!

H is all like "I can't believe I forgot my golf clubs because there was a threesome of snowbirds I could have joined up with!" and I'm all like "Let's see where I can find some bubble bath before I go to bed at 6:45"

I'm only partly kidding, but I did try to invest a little more in the 'ol sleep bank while I had the opportunity. And we did do a LOT of eating. Overall, it was a wonderful little getaway where someone else cooks and cleans, and I got to take an afternoon nap while H watched basketball. We celebrated our sixth anniversary and realized why we liked each other in the first place. 

Apparently we are funnier and nicer to each other when we don't have the stresses of everyday life making us ill and sleep deprived. Who knew!?!?

And even though H probably won't read this until sometime in mid-June...

Happy Anniversary! I'm glad one party at your fraternity house turned into all of this. Even though we aren't perfect (and that's putting it nicely), I sure am glad you picked me to be your wife and the mother of your adorable little girl. You've given me many years of laughter, love, and dirty laundry, and I look forward to many more!

Or at least until I find a good prospect for my second husband! (Haha! I'm kidding...maybe!)