Top Albums I Listened to While Growing Up

We Listen To The Same Music Now…

Sexy Boys

I started listening to my older sister’s music: The Mama’s and the Papa’s and Chad and Jeremy (does anyone else remember them?) When I was in high school I listened to John Denver, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, Carole King, Carly Simon and Cat Stevens. I still listen to all of them with the exception of Chad and Jeremy, but I am going to listen to them now, because whatever was old can still be new. Enjoy.

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Dedicated to my sister, Emma

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Where Is Your Favorite Place To Drive? Plinky Prompt

Chestnut Horse

Image by Kris *V* via Flickr

  • My Favorite Place to Drive
  • “Take Me Home, Country Roads”
    Volkswagon Beetle 

    I would be driving on country roads, passing mooing cows and prancing chestnut horses. I would drive slowly past the dancing goats and the green grass vibrant with color and misty with dew. I would be in my (fantasy) yellow Volkswagon Beetle. I would have the windows down as the warm air breathed life into my hair and skin. Of course, my favorite music would be blasting. I would listen to old tunes, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell and my new favorite, Josh Radin. My dog would be in the seat next to me and I would talk to her and she would be stretching her face into a broad smile. Two bottles of water would sit next to me for when we both got thirsty. The trees would be in bloom, it’s the height of Spring, daffodils have sprouted and so too exuberant tulips in red, pink, white and yellow. I would stop for a picnic because everything tastes better outdoors and I would lie in the grass, on my back and let the soothing sun kiss my face my face and body.

Cheer-Me-Up Music (Don’t Bring Me Down)

Bruce Springsteen

It really depends on what I am feeling down about. First choice,  Bruce Springsteen gets me singing and rocking, rocking and rolling. You can count on him to elevate your mood; he’s better than Prozac. His music can get you out of your misery by the sheer joy of singing to his music. I even saw him in concert once, the best performer ever (Thanks, Claudine.)

When I need comforting and want to reminisce about the past and easier times it’s John Denver who comforts me. I think about high school and my friend Paula and our mini John Denver fan club. We were young, life was good, we just didn’t know it back then. Now we look back and remember the easiest time of our lives and probably the happiest. We lived, and breathed his songs, we argued endlessly about his lyrics, we had a crush on him. Hey, it was the 70’s, don’t judge! John Denver represented young people, happiness, nature and good times. When he died prematurely, we were crushed.

Also, old stand-byes like Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and of course, The Sound of Music are guaranteed to bring a smile to my face.

More recent cheerful music includes: “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, “hey tonight’s gonna be a good, good night, woo-hoo,” Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine.” I really could go on and on but instead, I think I will put on iTunes and listen to some music, right now.

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20 ( Illness- Free) Random Things About Me

Jelly Doughnuts

Image by JMRosenfeld via Flickr

1)  I hate spam in my folder and if it reaches above 10 or 15 I HAVE to delete it. I won’t wait the month they promise to automatically delete it. I don’t trust them, plus I’m a little OCD.

2) Need to love my dinner on Sundays. An old family tradition dating back to when I was a child.

3) Still love and own (and may purchase more) stuffed animals or as I call them “friends.” And, I’m not embarrased about it.

4) I have been known to put either grape jelly or strawberry jam on pizza. Happily. It started with dry pizza in college, it has continued. Don’t judge, try it.

5) I am happy for 3 seasons of the year. Winter? Not so much.

6) I have NO sense of direction but can remember every word from a fight with my husband that happened 25 years ago. (My husband hates this.)

7)  I love jelly doughnuts:  I always pick raspberry jelly instead of strawberry jelly at Dunkin’Donuts. Made that mistake once, won’t make that mistake again.

8) I don’t care about my age but I always care about my birthday. I used to think it should be a National Holiday…..and why isn’t it?

9) If there was a fire and my family and dog were safe and I could pick one item to save it would be Nokey, my frail, old stuffed animal that my Dad bought me when I was two. Nokey (from not knowing how to say Monkey, will be 52 on my/our birthday) in October.

10) My favorite cake is a cake that is chocolate with layers of raspberry jam and chocolate cream. An Americanized version of the Austrian Sacher Torte.

11) My husband is an absolute sweetheart who makes me a cup of coffee every morning; he makes a mean gazpacho too.

12) I sometimes worry about things before they happen, called anticipatory anxiety.

13) I don’t get people who get “high” on exercising. Never has happened, never will. I guess I’d have to exercise more to find out. LOL. So not happening.

14) The cicadas singing their songs at night in the summer comforts me. I imagine them having conversations with each other as I try to fall asleep.

15) I used to throw up in the bushes before day camp every day when I was little.  Did my parents think this was normal behavior?

16) Old friends are not “always” there. Some are, some aren’t. There is no guarantee. New friends are a special gift.

17) Chris Rock changed the way I think about my hair. I had my natural brown color glaze to hide the fake highlights he said everyone in his audience had.

18) Love Arnold Palmer lite iced tea and lemonade mix.

19) I used to have a crush on John Denver and before that, Bobby Sherman. In my fantasy we sang on stage, together.

20) Did I mention how much I love jelly doughnuts?

Music Therapy (aka as cheaper than the other kind)

Ever since my  friend Linda and I were eliminated from singing in the chorus in seventh grade (with mean Mr. Patterson) I haven’t been the same and still  think he was totally wrong (not that I hold a grudge).   I have moved on and his mistake did not stop me from singing out loud and enjoying it but even being placed in the chorus?  How bad were we?  I love to sing and while I may not have the BEST singing voice I’m not horrific. I think I can carry a tune fairly well, I don’t shriek or scream, doesn’t that count for something? People don’t look askew when I sing or give me dirty looks. I have said before I enjoy it no end; the world needs people who love to sing.   Music makes me feel better and since I can’t afford therapy as much as I would like or need,  I have relied on this blog ( which has gotten me into serious trouble with some family members) and music. Music, trust me, is much, much safer.

I know I am dating myself and calling myself a nerd at the same time but in the early seventies, John Denver could take me out of any vile mood and make me smile and sing along. No, I was not “passing the pipe around” as he sang but he could always make me feel better. Always. Until he divorced Annie and then when he died. My best friend Paula and I were devastated. After not being in touch for months, we called each other that day. How could John Denver die?  We barely had forgiven him for divorcing Annie. She “filled up his senses,” he named the song after her, they adopted children ( oh wait, am I confusing him with Tom Cruise again?) Apparently  after the divorce from Annie, who we felt we all knew I think he remarried.  I mean, really.  Then there were viscous rumors, a lot of rumors about his excessive drinking, cavorting and doing major drugs.  Allegedly. That was when the John Denver fan club ended.

But dying?  That was a whole new and last chapter and one that was really sad and unbelievable to us. How could he have died in an airplane? What was he thinking? It seemed too horrible to think about; after all he was our first musical crush and the first ever concert we went to.

It took a long time after his death to play his music again. First it made me sad and angry and then with time, like everything else, I began to remember the John Denver that made me happy when Paula and I were in High School filled with some type of drama. Now I can still play his music  (and yes, I do still play his music) and feel the happiness I felt when  I was 15; kind of.  It’s not  really the same, of course, but now it’s better and soothing and I know every word to every song he ever made. RIP.

My latest choice of songs to make me forget my troubles and to smile is a song by The Kinks called “Better Day” which I have been playing every day since my friend Scott posted it. It is going to be my theme song for 2010. It’s upbeat and it makes one feel happy and hopeful like no other song.   For variety, my happy mood music always includes Bruce Springsteen( that’s for you Claudine).  I have different music for different moods; there is Josh Groban, Neil Young,  CSN&Y and of course The Beatles. There’s also time when you just need girl music: Sarah Mclaughlan, Sheryl Crow, Wynonna, The Corrs, Carole King and Carly Simon, Madonna and yes, Barbra Streisand.

Of course this is all biased but we should never, ever forget Simon and Garfunkel whose songs I think should follow the National Anthem o or at least played in the Smithsonian.  They sing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline at Red Sox games, there should be a place for Simon and Garfunkel, somewhere.

There aren’t many people I would see in concert again. Saw James Taylor and he was rude and sarcastic, saw Crosby, Stills and Nash and their voices were….umm…different.  There is/was  Peter, Paul and Mary who I could not enjoy since another legend, Mary, died.

I would see Simon and Garfunkel again (perfection)in concert and maybe Carole King. I leave the Rap bands to my 2 teenagers, I know they like it but they also like that we hate it. Works every time.  It would give my husband and I a headache to go to a Rap concert, but it might be worth it to totally embarrass our kids!

So next time, before you head for the Xanax container or your favorite cocktail or 5, take a deep breath, turn on the music and listen. Listen until you find the song that makes you feel good, or if you want to cry, try a sad song. Therapy is very expensive and it is worth it bu give music therapy a try first.  Music therapy, the first step for intervention, give it a try. Because even though it helps to have someone nod his or her head at something you said, music is relatively cheap, it’s always available and you never get charged for an appointment if you don’t cancel 24 hours before the session. Try it because the beat of music, really does go on and on….

For Paula, Scott and Claudine