Forever Young-ish…

Anyone catch a glimpse of their reflection in the self-checkout video at Target? Let me tell you, that sucker doesn’t lie. I did yesterday and WTH, like, I’m old now?? Is it just bad lighting?? Tell me it’s bad lighting. Why do I look ill? What’s happening???? I had a full face on, and yet, I looked old af. Someone talk me off a cliff here. Please.

I guess it’s all hitting me because I’ve been on a long-ass trip to Denial City for at least a few years now. Even when I’ve recently been finding gray hairs sprouting up, it’s like my brain turns off from the concept that I’m aging, and goes to a safe place where I assume everyone who sees me out with my two kids probably thinks I’m the nanny. Who do I think I am??! Benjamin Button?

I need to get a grip or at least some Botox… I’ve heavily started my obsessive-level research on all things injections and lasers, thank you very much.

I guess you could say Target was my age defining moment.

But please tell me I’m not alone in this? Was anyone else living in a delusional fantasy until they were thrust into the real world with a firm push in the way of sneaky surveillance cameras revealing their true form? I’m not spiraling or anything. Or rambling. I don’t know why you’d be thinking that.

Tell me your stories of accepting age, please. Or at least tell me how young I look.

To Spill Or Not To Spill…

Do you ever get sick of yourself?  Like, when you’re talking, and suddenly you just want to scream, “Blah!  I don’t wanna talk about me anymore!  I’m over myself today!”  This happens to me a lot when I’m working at the salon, and mostly because I feel like so much of my day revolves around talking about my life.  I think other hair stylists will agree, when women are at the beauty salon they want to gossip, and let me tell you, I’ve heard some cray cray stuff in my time as a stylist.  What always surprises me, though, is how much clients want to know about me. Their questions range from personal to general, but I find that more often than not, I’m asked these questions: What brought you to New York? How long have you been married? How did you meet your husband?  What does your husband do?  Where do you live?  Do you want children?

Sometimes I feel like these ladies are looking at me all like:

You know you want to.

You know you want to.

I really don’t mind sharing things about my personal life, but sometimes it gets exhausting.  It can feel good to talk about myself and therapeutic to share stories, but there are other instances where divulging too much has made me feel overexposed.  I remember telling one client about the time Matt got really sick when we were living in Grenada and how scared I was.  An almost stranger knew about one of the most terrifying moments of my life, and I felt really weird about it afterward.

I think sharing personal anecdotes are one of the big ways women connect with each other (and human beings in general).  Women are emotional creatures, I get it, and I am very emotional, but I do find as I get older, I’m turning into more of a dude.  I don’t really like to have super long conversations on the phone anymore, I can’t stand gossip, and I’ve started to take things at face value more.  Maybe it’s because I live with a dude, maybe it’s because I’m content with where I am in my life, or maybe I simply spent my entire 20’s analyzing myself, and now at 30 I’m spent.  Either way, it’s safe to say I’m just not that into me anymore.  I mean, I love myself as I believe every confident person should, but I just don’t care to brag about how awesome my life is.

I guess I’m too busy living.

~The End.

Photo by Anne Taintor.

It’s Just How It Is (according to me)…

Everyone is dazzled by a French accent.  It’s just how it is.

Just ask Brigitte Bardot.

If you don’t believe me, just ask Brigitte Bardot.

You may find yourself appreciating things like stewed meat, beets, capers, meatloaf, fiber supplements, etc. after reaching the age of 30.  It’s just how it is.

If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would willfully eat a beet salad I would've said you'd gone cray cray.

If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would willfully eat a beet salad I would’ve said you’d gone cray cray.

Most people think they’re smarter, more talented, better looking, funnier, etc. than they actually are.  It’s just how it is.

Said most people.

Unfortunately said by most people.  If you disagree, you’re probably one of ’em.  Sorry to break it to ya.

Cancer really, really sucks.  It’s just how it is.

Everyone already knows it.

Enough said.

One day you might realize that Hall and Oats is a highly underrated band that makes you want to bust a groove.  You might come to this conclusion at a wedding reception when the band is playing Rich Girl, or maybe it might occur to you while listening to the radio in your car, but it will most definitely not happen until after the age of at least 25.  It’s just how it is.

Hall and Oats

Love the handlebar mustache.

Listen here to:  Rich Girl

Mixed tapes are highly underrated.  It’s just how it is.

Screen shot 2013-03-30 at 6.13.41 PM

Charlie from Perks of Being a Wallflower would back me up on this (if he were a real, living human being.)

Taylor Swift dates too many dudes and writes too many songs about them.  It’s just how it is.

I'm not hating, though, Tay-Tay.  I still heart your music very much.

I’m not hating, though, Tay-Tay. I still heart your music very much.

Everyone has a mirror face and it’s awkward for everyone else witnessing it, except for the person making the mirror face.  It’s just how it is.

Kim K. is a perfect example.  Naturally.

Kim K. is naturally a perfect example.

Detroit (my hometown) is so much cooler than anyone gives it credit for.  It’s just how it is.

The D

Period.

Teenage drama is and will always be the worst kind of drama no matter how old you get.  It’s just how it is.

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

The accordion is an extremely annoying instrument that is not at all pleasing to the ear. It’s just how it is.

Sorry all you accordion lovers...

Sorry all you accordion lovers…

Everybody wants to rule the world.  It’s just how it is.

Right?  Right.

Right? Right.

Every girl born in the 80’s tried to form their own Babysitters Club when they were a tween.  It’s just it is (or was).

How it all began...

You know you all did it.

No one really knows who coined the term “catfish” or what it has to do with being a scumbag online.  It’s just how it is.

He's looking at you, Mante Teo.

He’s looking at you, Manti Te’o.

~The End

Photos by http://solo-vintage.tumblr.com/post/30864230906/hoodoothatvoodoo-brigitte-bardot-photo-by, http://tastefoodblog.com/2011/06/26/roasted-beets-with-feta-mint-and-pistachios/, http://awakeningcounseling.com/blog_01/hello-world/, http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=1790330, http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/one%20winter, http://www.hollyscoop.com/taylor-swift/complete-guide-taylor-swifts-boyfriends.html, http://weheartit.com/entry/35517184/via/joy_sandra#, http://detroitlives.org/2011/01/14/friday-photo-run-long-live-detroit/, http://i.imgur.com/s7aMEw8.png, http://media-cache-is0.pinimg.com/originals/47/12/22/471222d7b0bcd02fda31b5c90d5ca3e6.jpg, www.monsterpop.com.br

Words With Trends.

***WARNING*** 

This post is a rant.

I have a confession.  Sometimes I get really, really annoyed with my generation.  I don’t mean to be a traitor or anything, but I can’t help myself.  In my daily life, as well as the internet on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, I see the same trendy fads and phrases popping up nearly everywhere.  It’s like one day they’re not there, and then POOF, they’re EVERYWHERE.

So, I have to get this off of my chest…

I bring you…

My Top 5 Most Loathed Words With Trends:

1. Swag

As in, “He’s got killer swag.”

Oh, “swag”, I loathe you most of all.

Swag, swag, swag…Before ‘swag’ I never knew that I was capable of loathing a word so much.  I don’t know what it means, and to be honest with you, I really don’t care.  All that I really know is that I cringe every time someone uses it in reference to a virtue, and if I never heard the word muttered from any other human beings lips for the rest of my life, I would be a very happy girl.

2. Fingerstaches

Can we stop this? Please?

Can we talk about fingerstaches for a second?  I’d honestly like to know why, when, and where this mustache fetish started?  Not only is the term for this horrendous trend ridiculous, but I find the whole “let me hold up my finger with a fake mustache drawn on it” really sort of dumb.  I have actually seen people with a tattoo of this absurd fad, and I can’t help but think, “C’mon, seriously?!”  I mean, I get it, it was funny for about two seconds…wait, no it wasn’t.  It was never funny.  Ever.  So, can we all resolve to stop this mayhem?

3. Awesome Sauce

As in, “Dinner was totally awesome sauce!”

I’m cringing just reading this.

Oh…’awesome sauce,’ I really don’t like you.  This is one that didn’t bother me much in the beginning, but then I started hearing it, and then I started hearing it some more, and then I started hearing it so much, in reference to so many people, places, and things, that it made me want to rip my hair out.  Why can’t something just simply be awesome?  Try it.  It feels good to say something is just plain awesome.  It’s sincere.  It’s effective.  If I had the choice, I’d never hear ‘awesome sauce’ again, unless of course, it was in reference to a sauce that was actually awesome, like Frank’s RedHot, then it would be entirely acceptable.

4. Adorkable

As in, “She’s so super adorkable.”

The gal who inspired the craze.

I admire Zooey Deschanel.  She’s quirky, whimsical, and she’s also really, really smart.  She has marketed herself as the cute-dress wearing, 60’s inspired, unique actress who stars in the coolest independent films.  Plus, she has really great bangs, but that’s not the point.  The fact is, there is no other actress out there like her, and she did a great job at setting herself apart.  Genius.  You want to know what’s not genius?  The dumb stigma that someone labeled her with- “Adorkable.”  Yes, she is adorable, and she might even be a bit of a dork in her free time, but can we just call her what she really is?  A very smart business woman.

5. (Insert adjective and select a gender here) problems.

As in, “Being too short to see out of the peephole of your front door = Short girl problems.” (By the way, that happened to me.)

I blame you, Jersey Shore.

So, it all started with Jersey Shore, as most annoying sayings do.  Pauly D referred to Snookie and Co. as having “meatball problems” when bad fortune started to come their way.  That was it.  A mania was born.  Suddenly you couldn’t go on Facebook without someone lamenting about their, “short girl problems,” or “tall guy problems,” or “nerd girl problems,” and so on and so forth.  Everyone wanted in on the action, and it became, well, exhausting.  So, I have to ask, can we just keep all of our whatever guy/girl problems to ourselves?  Please?

~The End.

Pictures by Ghettoredhot, Pinterest, shortgirlprbs.tumblr.com

Dear Younger Me…

Trust me.

Often times getting what you want begins with one simple task:  Being nice.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss

Expect the unexpected.

Once you give your heart away, it’s hard to get it back, so choose the recipients wisely and carefully.

Refrain from using the words “always” and “never.”  Both are cripplingly absolute.

Better to be the person who keeps the peace than stirs the pot.

It’s important to have people in your life who believe in you, but even more vital to believe in yourself.

Let go of expectations of people, places, and things.  Why not let yourself be pleasantly surprised, than anticipating more, only to be let down?

Be someone who people can depend on, instead of someone who people say, “Oh, Sarah?  Yeah, she always bails on me.  You can’t count on her.” <–It sucks to be that person.

You. Must. Chill.

It’s okay to be a dreamer, but know that nothing happens overnight.  For 99.9% of people, anything worth achieving doesn’t come easily.  Don’t get caught up in the hyped up stories about the .1%.  Put the work in.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” -Dr. Seuss (again)

Being a quitter gets a bad reputation, but sometimes your mental health is more important than putting yourself through something that makes you miserable.

Kick out “life drainers.”  Drainers are people who purposely try to bring you down, don’t have your best interest at heart, aren’t happy for you when good things happen, and are people who do their best to dull your sparkle.  Say goodbye to them and see how much better you feel afterward.

Don’t be afraid to look stupid.

Be honest…but not brutally honest.  I would say, be tactfully honest.  Sometimes being brutally honest just hurts people’s feelings.

(This one is for the girls)  If a guy says he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you for whatever reason; believe him, and then find someone who does.

Save your money.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” -Dr. Seuss (yes, one more time.)

Follow your heart, but don’t be stupid.

~The End.

Photo by Pinterest.

The Art of a Theme Song…

Can we talk about theme songs for a minute?  Personal theme songs.  You know, like a song you listen to get pumped up, or a little ditty that plays over and over in your head that follows you through life.  In my opinion, everyone should have one.

Does anyone remember that show Ally McBeal from a few years back?  That show sort of pioneered the art of the theme song.  Remember when Ally danced for the first time with that weird computer animated baby to “Hooked on a Feeling” and got down?

“Hooked on a Feeling” became Ally’s theme song and a running gag on the show.

Or maybe you might remember more recently when Joseph Gordon-Levitt danced in the streets to Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True” in (500) Days of Summer?

My favorite part of the movie. Obviously. I’m a sucker for impromptu musical numbers.

Well, I got to thinking about theme songs today as I was walking down the blistering streets of Brooklyn in 98 degree heat, iPod-less, (because I accidentally left it at home) when one particular lyric to a song kept replaying over and over again in my head.  I tried to push it away and will a better, perhaps cooler song to take its place, but it was no use.  Katy Perry has taken over my life since I accidentally heard her song “Firework” in CVS yesterday.

So, there I was trying to cross the street as the song slowly began to creep in:

“You just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

‘Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y”

I tried to fight the song off as long as I could, but by the end of my walk home I was full-blown humming it and owning it <–Don’t judge me.  I kind of felt like Emma Stone in the movie Easy A when she opens up the musical card from her grandma that plays “Pocketful of Sunshine” and she groans, saying how much she hates the song.  Cut to a few hours later when she’s taking a shower and rocking out to it.

“I gotta pockeful, gotta pocketful of sunshine…I gotta love and I know that it’s all mine oh–oh–oh.”

If you listen to the rest of the lyrics to “Firework” you’re bound to feel that it’s a little silly:

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag,
Drifting through the wind
Wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper-thin
Like a house of cards,
One blow from caving in?”

Do I ever feel like a plastic bag?!  Okay, so the song is pretty weak on imagery, but I’ve got to admit, it still kind of inspires me, though.

Take for instance these lyrics:

“It’s always been inside of you
And now it’s time to let it through.”

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Dolly Parton: “The magic is inside you.  There ain’t no crystal ball.”

If you’ve never heard Katy Perry’s song “Firework” have a listen here…03 Firework

So, tell me…

~The End.

Photos by IMDB, and Pinterest.

I’m In A New York State Of Mind…

Have you ever noticed how many delusional people exist to this world?  I’ve always said that New York is a sort of Mecca for people with unrealistic expectations, and the kind of place where it’s okay to dream really big.  In fact, you can’t not be a dreamer and survive in New York.  Just think of the teeny, tiny apartments that cost thousands of dollars a month to live in, and all the inconveniences that go along with New York living; having multiple roommates so that you can cover rent, grocery stores that are miles away, five and six-story walk ups, schlepping heavy laundry for blocks in the dead of winter.  Why would anyone go through all this?  It’s simple.  Because there is no greater place to make big things happen in your life than New York City.  Period.  I guarantee every person you pass on a bustling, taxi-honking street has some sort of dream or expectation about being in New York.  Whether it’s to star in a Broadway show someday, become chief editor of the New York Times, hit it big in the corporate world, become a famous blogger, become a famous fashion designer, publish a best-selling novel, write a screenplay that will win you an Oscar, etc. etc…And I should know, because as you may have already guessed, a few of my biggest dreams were mixed in there.  You see, this massive fool’s paradise is probably why I love New York so much to begin with, because let’s face it, I’m a little delusional, too.

You’ve heard the old adage about New York:  “If I can make it there (insert robust drum beat here) I’ll make it anywhere.  It’s up to you, New York, New York.”

Obviously this guy made it in New York…just look at him.

Everyone has also heard the success stories about making it big in New York, but the one thing nobody ever seems to talk about, are the thousands of people who come here year after year who don’t make it.  They’re the people who New York eats up and spits out.  They’re the same people who once got goosebumps while listening to those Frank Sinatra lyrics, but can no longer bear to hear the song.  They are those that slowly fade into the distance or simply “go back home” eventually.

My pondering on the subject started last night on my subway ride home from work.  There was this early twenty-something-year-old girl sitting nearby on an extremely crowded, yet surprisingly quiet rush hour train.  Her friend was standing in front of her and they were sharing an iPod as they listened to music.  Suddenly at the top of her lungs she decided to act out an entire scene from what I presumed was Mary Poppin’s, complete with both male and female roles (including an astonishingly bad imitation of some sort of British accent.)  She totally got her wish; every person in the subway car stopped what they were doing to stare.  Her routine climaxed when she impersonated a crash, which highlighted her ability to do sound effects as well.  Her male friend, a seemingly sweet and quiet type, stood there looking slightly embarrassed by the spectacle, but remained supportive as he said, “That was amazing.”  She replied, “I know, acting out the scene in its entirety is part of the process I go through before a big audition.”

I really wish my story ended here, but unfortunately it didn’t.  When she was done with the show tune extravaganza, she moved on to Nicki Minaj, so that we all could see that she was a gal of many talents, including rapping.  She rapped the entire song of “Super Bass” and also sang the hook as loud and as tone-deaf as her voice could carry her.  All the while, her friend stood there, ear phone in one ear, trying his best to look carefree, even though his cheeks had turned a slight shade of pink from embarrassment.  She paid no attention and was thoroughly engrossed in her rap, when she suddenly stopped and stated the following: “I watch every interview I can find of Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj, and do you wanna know what all of them have in common?

Girl’s Friend:  “What?”

Girl:  They both say that they like to impersonate characters every day of their lives, because it makes life more interesting, and because they love standing out.  Isn’t that just like me?

Girl’s Friend:  Totally.

Girl:  (smug) I guess that must mean I am going to be famous someday, too.

Girl’s Friend:  Yup.

Just as this conversation wrapped up, it was time for me to hop off the subway.  On my walk home I couldn’t help but envision all the rude awakenings that I was sure this girl was going to get, and I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for her, too.  I guess I could see some of my younger self in her…Untainted confidence, hopefulness, and even though she was extremely annoying to me after a long day at work, I could still admire something about her.  She believed in herself.  Wholeheartedly.  I had to give her credit for that.

Maybe not everyone makes it in New York, and maybe some people do eventually fade into the dust, but I guess everyone has to figure it out on their own.  Still, I hope someday I can say that I made it…really made it…in New York.

~The End.

Photos by Pinterest.

Seven Things That Are Underrated (if you ask me)…

1. A woman with a firm handshake

Totally boss.

I don’t know about you, but I appreciate a confident, firm handshake when shaking another woman’s hand.  Nothing is worse than going in for an assertive grip only to be met by a feeble handshake in return . Those limp hand shakes are for the birds, and leave me asking, “What woman started this wimpy habit?”  I think there is something so refreshing about a woman with some substance behind that palm.  To me, it says, “I’m a strong, capable, secure woman, and I’m not afraid to show it.”  C’mon ladies, men do it, so why don’t we?

2. Eating dinner alone

When I was younger I hated being alone.  I could easily spend days and nights completely consumed by hanging out with my friends.  In fact, the first day I met my friend Reagan, we ended up spending nearly a week together, going back and forth to each others apartments.  I still love my friends (and my husband), but I no longer mind eating dinner alone.  I could easily go sit by myself at a café or diner and be completely content there alone without anyone else to talk to.  I think with age you start to appreciate alone time more (at least I do), and those times where you can turn your brain off become highly underrated.

3. Comfortable Silence

Does anyone remember this scene in Pulp Fiction?

It goes something like this:

Mia: Don’t you hate that?

Vincent: What?

Mia: Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it’s necessary to yak about bulls*it in order to be comfortable?

Vincent: I don’t know. That’s a good question.

Mia: That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.

P.S.  Isn’t that true?

4. Getting lost

I hate to sound cliché, but everything really does happen for a reason.  Sometimes it’s good to be lost, and sometimes it’s good to not have your life completely planned out.  Trust me, I learned this one the hard way.  I spent most of my early 20’s trying to control everything and everyone who walked into and out of my life.  Finally something clicked one day, and I realized that living my life this way made me miserable, so I decided to make a change.  One of the best times of my life was when I decided to stop looking at the big picture, just take each day at a time, and give myself permission to flounder…and do you want to know a secret?  I became happier, and something wonderful happened.  I met Matt, who eventually became my husband.  You might think something is right for you, whether it be a job, relationship, etc., but it might not be what is best for you.  If you refuse to let yourself be lost, than you never allow yourself to truly be found.

5. Handwritten letters sent in the mail

Snail mail is way underrated.

In a generation where we can connect with people all over the world in a matter of seconds, it’s almost impossible to not take advantage of the internet and email.  However, I think sending a good, old-fashioned letter or card in the mail is completely underrated.  Think about it.  What if you opened your mailbox today, and received a note from a friend telling you how much they missed you, instead of simply writing it on your Facebook wall.  How special would that make you feel?  Yep, pretty special.  That’s what I thought

6. Electric blankets

So genius.

The fact that I found this picture, where the model is trying her best to look super cool as she is luxuriously wrapped up in the electric blanket, is so funny to me.  So, I know we’re moving in on summer here, but I’ve got to tell you, electric blankets are totally underrated.  If you’ve ever slept in one, especially in the dead of winter, than you know exactly what I’m talking about.  It’s warm…it’s cozy…and it’s phenomenal…Enough said.

7. Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives

Best. Show. Ever.

I am seriously obsessed with this show, and think it’s the bomb.  Let me guess, you’ve never heard of it, right?  That doesn’t surprise me, because every time I try to shoot the sh*t with someone about it, they have no idea what I’m talking about.  If you’ve never seen it, it’s basically a cooking show where the host, Guy Fieri, travels around the United States in search of the best diners, drive-in’s and dives.  It’s not your average cooking show, in that it doesn’t go into all the tedious step by step process of a recipe, but it does give you a recap of numerous cooks whipping up deliciously unhealthy grub that is sure to make your mouth water.  In a nutshell, this show is entertaining and tons of fun, but completely underrated, because hardly anyone has heard of it.

Photos by New York Daily News, Pinterest, IMDB, The Food Network, http://www.notthatkindofgirl.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/catladydinner.jpg

10 Songs That Shaped My Life…

10.)  Love Shack by The B-52’s

“Tin roof…Rusted…” <–C’mon who doesn’t remember that?!

I fell in love with this song at the ripe old age of 8, and it is my first memory of hearing a song, and feeling an intense urge to bust a move.  This song sprung a barrage of made up dances between me and my childhood best friend, and I always, and I repeat ALWAYS had to do the “Tin roof…Rusted part,” or else I got really p’o-ed.  Just ask Bekka Parker (she was my childhood bff.)  Anyway, recently my brother heard it on satellite radio and he had to let me know, because I think he, along with my whole family, remembers when my friend and I would make up dances to it, and demand that they all watch us dance around like little freaks.  I think they’re still scarred…

Ummm...cowbells as an instrument? Brilliant!

Listen to it and see if it makes you wanna shake your groove thing…

04_-_love_shack_-_cosmic_thing 

9.)  The Sign by Ace of Base

Just a few short years later when I was about 11 or 12 “The Sign” came onto the scene.  I remember I was at the roller rink for a birthday party, and I heard this catchy pop melody playing from the jukebox, and thinking, “What is that glorious pop music I am hearing right now?!  I must find out!”  Someone informed me it was Ace of Base’s “The Sign,” which instantaneously put me on a mission the second I got home, to pop a cassette in my boombox, and try to catch it on the radio so I could tape it.  Once I finally recorded it, I must have listened to it a hundred times.

However, my love affair with this song quickly ended, when my dad tried to get me to sing it for an audition for Star Search a couple of years later.  I remember thinking that the song was soooooo old, and I felt so dorky doing it.  I ended up not going for the audition, and I couldn’t listen to the song for years after, because it reminded me of my adolescent awkward self trying to sing “I saw the sign, I saw the si–i-i-i-i-gn…I saw the sign…and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign.”  Actually I can’t even think about it now, because it’s giving me the creeps!  Awkward!

But I still love the song!

"Life is demanding, without understanding." <--How profound...

Wanna hear it?  Listen below…

04_-_the_sign_-_the_ultimate_collection_(box_set)_(cd_1)

***Disclaimer:  I promise after this next one, I am done with all the cheesy pop music.***

8.)  Genie in a Bottle by Christina Aguilera

“I’m a genie in a bottle ba-bayyy, you gotta rub me the right way hon-eyyy…”<–Ahhwhat?

Yeah, she really said that.

So, I had to put this song on the list because when I think of being a teeny-bopper, I think of this song.  I used to sing this song in my 1994 white Ford Tempo, with the volume all the way up, and had no idea what these lyrics meant.  I honestly thought she was talking about a genie in a bottle.  Ummm..duh!  Straight up though, this song makes me think of my youth.  When I hear it, memories of belly baring shirts, over-highlighted hair, pink lip gloss, and poor imitations of Christina’s riffing, come flooding back…in a good way.

Back when Christina was Christina and not diiiiiirty X-Tina.

Wanna listen to X-Tina wail about a genie in a bottle?  Have a listen below…

01_-_genie_in_a_bottle_-_christina_aguilera

7.)  Both Hands by Ani Difranco

When I moved to New York for college when I was 19, was when I became all artsy-fartsy.  It’s also when I discovered Ani Difranco…also know as…ANI (said with great awe and enthusiasm.)  One of the first friends I met in NYC was playing around one night on her acoustic guitar and played “Both Hands” for me.  I remember hearing the lyrics, “I’m recording our history now on the bedroom wall, and when we leave the landlord will come
and paint over it all.”  This song always gives me a nostalgic feeling, and makes me think of my first year in New York.

Love her.

Wanna experience pure brilliance?  Listen below.

02 Both Hands

6.)  Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel

“My heart goin’ boom, boom, boom…”

This song defines my early 20’s.  After finishing school in New York, and feeling a little lost, I moved back home to Michigan for two years.  During that time, I put myself through cosmetology school, went through a bad break-up, and decided to move back to New York to pursue acting again and to try working as a hairstylist.  I just remember listening to this song over and over in my car when I was getting ready to go back to NYC, and being moved by it.  I don’t know how else to explain it.

If you ever go through a transitional phase in your life, discover this song.

This song will change your life.  Listen to it below and see for yourself…

Solsbury Hill

5.)  Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac

So, basically I am obsessed with Stevie Nicks…the hair, the long flowy dresses, the knee-high boots, the black-rimmed eyeliner, etc.  She’s no classic beauty, but she’s awesome.

This song reminds me of the second time I moved to New York, and the tiny little room I moved into.  You could seriously only fit a twin bed (barely) in there, and a little dresser.  I used to listen to this song over and over again.

A couple of years ago, I went to see Fleetwood Mac in a concert at Madison Square Garden, and Stevie sang this song.  She was amazing…naturally.  She said Gypsy is about finding love and about friendships.  This is what Stevie said about it: “Lightening strikes maybe once, maybe twice… that means one time in your life you find a very good friend, and maybe if you’re incredibly lucky, you might find a second. It all comes down to you, means but you have to look very hard.”

Love you, Stevie.

Seriously, how freaking cool is she?

Experience a little Stevie in your life…

04 Gypsy

4.)  Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked

Okay, so you all knew a quintessential theater nerd couldn’t resist putting at least one show tune on this list.  Really though, this song is phenom.

When I think of this song I think about coming to terms with leaving a bad job situation.  I had worked in a salon for a while, but over time, it became clear that it was not working out how I hoped it would.  It was disappointing, but I knew I had to move on.  I was scared to take such a risk, though.  I had put in a lot of time and hard work, so it was devastating to realize it was falling apart.  On top of all that, I was just feeling like I wasn’t good at anything.  It was kind of a low point, but I knew it had to get better because it couldn’t get any worse.

Right around that time, my Grandma Barkoff ended up passing away, and I went home to be with my family.  While I was home, I knew it was time to cut the strings with the job situation.  It took a lot of courage, but I finally left the job and moved on.  I ended up finding an amazing job soon after, where I felt appreciated and finally recognized for my talents.  It was the best decision I ever made.

And thus, “Defying Gravity” became my anthem.

P.S.  You know you’re a theater nerd when nothing pumps you up more than a show tune.

"I'm flying high defying gravity."

Get lifted.  Listen below…

11 Defying Gravity

3.)  Is this Love by Bob Marley

This song hands down reminds me of when Matt and I were falling in love.  On our second date he took me to a G Love concert in Central Park.  I remember he waited with me in line for almost an hour to use the gross porta-potty, and while we waited there we heard “Is this Love” by Bob Marley.  I said, “Oh my God, I love this song,” to which he replied, “Me too.”  We then had an awkward moment trying not to look at each other, because we were both probably thinking the same thing, which was…Is this love?

Bob the legend.

Wanna find out if this is love?  Listen below…

13 Is This Love

2.)  Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes by Paul Simon

“People say she’s crazy, she’s got diamonds on the soles of her shoes.  Well, that’s one way to lose these walking blues, diamonds on the soles of your shoes.”

Oh Paul Simon, what can I say?  You speaka my language.

It was hard for me to narrow it down to just one Paul Simon song, because he is my favorite artist of all time.  There is something so completely beautiful about his lyrics and his ability to string melodies into them.  Recently I was a Barnes and Noble and got really excited when I found a hard-covered Paul Simon Lyrics coffee table book on one of those 60% off sales.  I snatched it right up, and have every intention of displaying it on my coffee table when Matt and I finally have a real apartment soon.  I love him and I love this song.

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes reminds me of when Matt and I first arrived in Grenada.  We listened to Paul Simon’s greatest hits album like it was out J-O-B.  This song was the perfect song to listen to after coming to a tropical paradise from the bitter cold of a New York winter.  It’s got sort of a Caribbean flair to it, and will always remind me of when we Matt started his medical career.

Wanna be soul-mates with me, Paul Simon?

Have a listen for yourself…

13_-_diamonds_on_the_soles_of_her_shoes_-_greatest_hits

1.)  Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

To know this song, is to love it.

I first heard this version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow probably about ten years ago.  It was playing in the credits at the end of a movie, which I can’t remember what that movie was now.  I absolutely loved it, and I have loved it ever since.

When I met Matt I found out that he loved it, too, and it basically became the theme song of our relationship.  It was playing when we got engaged, I walked down the aisle at our wedding to it, and we also had our first dance to it, too.  We both just absolutely love it, and maybe that’s because we both love Hawaii, and this song reminds us of paradise.  Either way, it’s a beautiful song, and in my opinion, the most beautiful ever.

Brother Iz is the bomb.

Listen below…

14_-_somewhere_over_the_rainbow_-_what_a_wonderful_world_-_facing_future

~The End

Photos courtesy of blog.ctnews.com, amazon.com, freecodesource.com, worleygig.com, blog.needsupply.com, eightoclocktwilight.wordpress.com, rockhall.com, musicstack.com.

Shall We Brunch?

There is something so divine about brunching, isn’t there?  When I’m in New York, one of my very favorite things to do on a Sunday afternoon is to go to brunch, and to order my uj of a goat cheese, tomato, and basil omelet, a spicy (non-alchy) bloody mary, a cup of coffee with full fat half and half and two splenda’s, and a homemade muffin to pick at on the side.  That’s what I usually order at my favorite brunch joint, Isabella’s, anyway…

So, lately I’ve felt a little melancholy about my old brunching days, and just a little reflective about NYC in general.  Since I’ve been in Grenada, this time of year has been the hardest for me, because you don’t really know me, if you don’t know about my love for the fall in New York.  I mean, there’s a reason why they’ve made movies called Autumn in New York.  It makes me sad every time I think about another fall season going by that I’m missing.  There is just something about drinking a non-fat extra hot chai latte, while traipsing around  Central Park and looking at the beautiful changing leaves.  In my opinion, it’s just the most gorgeous time of year, and as a friend and I once dubbed it: the most amazingly awesome weather for fashion ever (hence the perfect time to sport a t-shirt and a scarf, a skirt and cute riding boots, a dress with a light fall jacket, etc.)

Can't you see why I love it so?

So, when I was invited over by a friend of mine for brunch at her apartment, it came at the perfect time and when I needed it the most.  I took my invitation to the brunch very seriously and baked a homemade pumpkin bread from scratch.  It was raining while I was baking, and for a minute, the spicy smell of the bread made me feel like it was really fall weather out, and not the 100 degrees that it really was.

I honestly looked forward to my little event with the girls all weekend, and when it came time, it was just so much fun to do something different for a change.  It can get pretty monotonous around here, so it was fun to shake things up a bit.

We had good conversation…

FYI: This conversation was definitely not as serious as it seems to be...

We had a delish spread of treats…

Yes, the watermelon is yellow here...Weird, huh?

Delish egg fritata, watermelon, blueberry bran muffin, pumpkin bread, and a mimosa to top it off right...

A cute little puppy for company, too…

Chewy was so ready for his close up...

Wouldn’t be complete without a little girl talk…

A little gossiping never hurt anyone...okay, so that's not true, but let's face it, sometimes it's needed.

It was a fun morning, and definitely did the trick in making me miss New York a wee bit less.  However, when I walked outside after my lovely get together, and I felt the heat beating down on my shoulders, I realized there was unfortunately nothing that could make me miss my favorite season in New York less…except for maybe New York itself.

~The End

Central Park photo by stephaniefrost.net