Reason #58276 that I love Stevie Romano…

Late in the evening after the kids have gone to bed and we’re still picking up bits and pieces of all the things they’ve gotten into throughout the day, he can pick up a crayon from the floor and totally crack himself up by adding one letter that is obviously missing from the wrapper.

Coloring just got a whole lot cooler.

Rock on.



365 Project – Day 314 – Finding More Than a Hero of the Day

Today was one of those days that just got me thinking. Not only was it Veteran’s Day, it was also 11/11/11 and National Metal Day. And yet, you turn on the news, and those things only got a nice little soundbyte while things like the Penn State sex abuse scandal and Justin Bieber’s alleged fatherhood dominated the headlines.

The way I see it, we’ve got our priorities a little mixed up here, and I think it’s time for a change.

These days, it seems like we are all so focused on things like money and fame and power and prestige. We idolize celebrities and athletes, worshipping them the way ancient cultures worshipped deities. We see them as heroes, even when their actions prove to be anything but heroic.

What does it say about us as human beings when we spend more time talking about people like Kim Kardashian and Charlie Sheen and the cast of the Jersey Shore than the brave men and women who are putting their lives on the line to protect our freedoms?

I’ll be the first to admit that I like watching television and movies  and listening to music as much as the next person. I like to be entertained. And, like my husband, I have started my own List of People I’d Like to Have a Beer With that includes several of the celebrities that I just think are cool (among them Carol Burnett, Lewis Black, Ellen Degeneres, Reba McEntire, and David Lynch). And yet, my appreciation of their talents has not turned me into a crazed fan or celebrity stalker. I don’t have to rush out and buy a brand new outfit to match the one Kate Middleton was photographed wearing yesterday, and I don’t spend my days analyzing the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie/Jennifer Aniston love triangle. Instead, I like to spend my time trying to be the best damn wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and all around person I can be. I want my time here to matter.

So, today, I would like to pay homage to the heroes that all too often go unnoticed. Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to the courageous men and women who have served, are serving and will one day serve in the United States military. The job that you do is a job that few of us ever could do. You give yourselves to your country and your countrymen, putting your lives on the line to save ours. You go without, so that we can have plenty. You leave your families and friends behind so that ours can be safe from harm. You are the true heroes. We love you. We thank you. And God bless you.

And in honor of National Metal Day, I dedicate Metallica’s Hero of the Day to our heroes.

365 Project – Day 226 – My Own Personal Sountrack

Music plays a very big part in my life. Always has. I started piano lessons when in first grade, then moved onto playing drums and percussion in third grade. I participated in band and choir throughout elementary, middle and high school, and even played a little in college.

Even when I am not physically playing the music myself, I surround myself with it. I always have the radio cranked up in the car, and I sing loudly (and badly) along. I was the queen of mix tapes when I was young, always searching for the perfect mix of music to suit my moods and to serve as soundtracks for my daily activities. I had waking up in the morning and showering tapes, long car trip tapes, short car trip tapes, tapes to play my drum set to, horseback riding tapes, rollerblading tapes, bus ride tapes, field trip tapes, just sitting around and reading tapes, writing tapes, and winding down and sleeping tapes. You name it, I had my own personal playlist for it.

Since the invention of things like CD’s and I-Pods, my quest for the perfect soundtrack has only intensified. Now, instead of being able to average maybe twelve songs per side on the cassette tapes, my soundtracks are virtually limitless. And I have spent many hours dodging my writer’s block making playlists for myself.

The one I have been putting off though is my workout playlist. Since Steven and I joined the YMCA, I have just been shuffling through one of the large playlists of of my favorite songs. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really great songs to keep me moving and plugging along to the beat–things like Bad Things by Jace Everett (yes the True Blood theme song), We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel, and a wide assortment of upbeat Heart, Abba, Green Day and country tunes.

But then the train dereails when something like Bird York’s In the Deep comes on. I can actually hear the squealing of the brakes in my brain as I try to keep my body moving instead of slowing to match the rhythm of the music. Nothing against Bird York. In fact, In the Deep is one of my favorite songs to listen to when I need to sit and unwind and relax, but workout music, it is not. And that also goes for the entire Twin Peaks soundtrack, anything by Enya, and most showtunes (with the exception of the Wicked soundtrack, because that music always gets me moving).

I had a particularly hard time working out today because, for some reason, every really great fist-pumping, upbeat song was sandwiched between two or three slow jams. It was brutal, and I think I am more worn out tonight than I have ever been from all the scrambling I did trying to keep moving while searching for more appropriate music on my I-Pod.

So, for tonight, I will leave you with my Top 5 Get Motivated Workout Songs. These little ditties are always at the top of my playlist…

1. Whiskey in the Jar by Metallica – This song always gets me going. It’s got a good strong beat, and my only problem is stopping myself from belting out the chorus while running on the elliptical machine.

2. Walk the Walk by Poe – Really, I’m a sucker for anything by Poe, and she’s got a lot of great songs that will probably make my workout playlist–songs like Hey Pretty, Not a Virgin, Trigger Happy Jack and Choking the Cherry to name a few. Walk the Walk is definitely one of my favorites though, and it always gets me moving.

3. A whole slew of Beatles songs, like Help, Can’t Buy Me Love, Revolution, etc. They’re perky, upbeat, and just make you smile and keep you going. It would be impossible to choose just one.

4. And as long as we’re talking about groups that put out a bunch of great workout songs, The Black Eyed Peas should probably be on the list. Songs like Anxiety, Let’s Get It Started, and Pump It immediately come to mind. It’s impossible to sit still when they are playing.

5. And last, but certainly not least, my own personal Get-Off-Your-Ass-and-Move anthem, Invincible by Pat Benetar. Most people will remember it as the theme from the classic 80’s film The Legend of Billie Jean. If you haven’t seen the movie, you must. Now. What are you waiting for? And if you can actually keep yourself from trying to conquer the world (or at least conquer a decent workout) while listening to this song, I have serious doubts that you are even human.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to all the music that gets me moving. Tomorrow’s agenda = make my own personal workout playlist.

%d bloggers like this: