Thursday, September 18, 2014

Good Morning! and Sharing the Road

Sometimes the cyclists and the runners at White Rock Lake, here in Dallas, can get on each other's nerves.  Although I'm a runner 90% of the time I'm out there, I'm also the occasional cyclist, so I can sort of understand
both sides.  Cyclist tend to zoom by us runners dangerously close at time, not seeming like they really want to share the road.  But, like I said, every now and then, I'm on the other side of things, and the runners sometimes run in groups of 3 or more, making it really difficult for cyclists to safely get around them.

When I'm running, lots of cyclist pass without a word, some ring bells of
warning, and others just yell out "Left!", as in "Passing on your left."  None of that is rude at all, but I don't think of it as all too friendly either.

But today on my run, a large group of cyclist, maybe 15 or more, passed me.  And as they did, the first one said, "Good morning, big group of us will be passing on your left", and then the next one said, "Hi!  Have a great day!"  and then about 10 more "Good Mornings!" to me followed.  I ended up saying my "hi's"and "good mornings" back, and it put a huge smile on my face because it was really funny.  Friendly cyclist overload! Every single one of them said something nice to me.  And what a difference it made.  I thought those cyclist were such friendly people just from that teeny little gesture.

Saying "Good Morning!" really took no additional time than "Left" does, but it was such a nicer way to get me to happily move over, to share the road with others needing more room.

In light of that awesome morning greeting I got earlier today, I'm putting up this video taken from "Singin' in the Rain"- with one of my favorites of all time, Gene Kelly.  Good Morning!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Music Monday- "Good Life" by OneRepublic on GMA's 3 Words

I've been on a OneRepublic kick since seeing them in concert a couple of weeks ago here in Dallas... sweating out butts off together in perfect rhythm at a horrible outdoor venue.  (But worth it!)

A couple of years ago, I can remember Good Morning America helping us get the day started around here.  Rarely do I even watch live morning TV, but thank God I caught this.  I sat down on my bed to watch, mesmorized by how funny and sweet the human race is...  And that all in all, it really is a good, good life

So today, for Music Monday, here is the inspiring video, starring good people from all over the world, holding up their "3 Words" with the soundtrack being one of my favorite songs~ "Good Life" by OneRepublic.  Enjoy.  Even tho it's Monday, remember, this really is a good, good life! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Steal Like An Artist ( And From Many!)

I just read this book for the second time.
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
It's a great little book about creativity.  By the way, I love books on creativity and dream of someday writing one of my own.  It's one of my "go to" areas at the library and at bookstores.  Steal Like An Artist is one of the better ones.  And believe me, I've read many.

One of the points Austin Kleon makes in the book, is that all artists steal from each another.  And it's totally okay to do that.  But rather than copy one artist, steal from many, he says.  And then, stir all those influences up in your warm little pot, and you'll turn it into something that is uniquely your own.

Fermin and I were once listening to a pianist that sounded like a cross between George Winston, and I don't know... someone else...  So when we talked to him, I asked him who his influences have been.  And he said no one.  He went on to say that he tries to not listen to other music because he aims to be unique.  As soon as he said this, I knew he was full of crap and I just wished he would stop talking immediately. What musician doesn't listen to other musicians?!  How could you avoid it even if you wanted to?!

If I knew that lying pianist and were to see him again, I would recommend this book to him.  Just to let him know, it's okay to steal from an artist!  And the more, the better.  I know he's doing it anyway, I just want him to be okay with admitting to it.

Who are your favorite people to steal from?


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Record Breaking


Over the weekend, I started feeling a little panicked- I think I've fallen just a little behind on my schedule of getting 50 songs written in 90 days.  One little voice in my head has tried consoling me, telling me that the point really isn't to get to 50 anyway. The point, instead, is to write more than seems possible... and just to make songwriting a near-daily practice for 3 months solid.  My other little voice has told me that other voice is Crap, and that I will really feel let down if I don't make it to 50, because I'm getting so close.  Which voice is true? I'm not sure...  Maybe they both are.

But the non-consoling voice won me over this time around.  And today, I plunked myself down in my studio and vowed not to get up until a song or two was written. 

I ended up writing 3 songs.  Because I've never written 3 songs in one day and it just seemed like a do-able thing once the afternoon warmed up.  (And I mean that both literally and figuratively... In Dallas, we reached a record temperature of 101 for this day.  And as the day warmed, so did my creative juices.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again- and again- and again.  You've got to be brave enough to create crap.  If you don't create some ugly stuff first, you'll probably never make it to something beautiful.

Of these 3 songs I wrote today one is meh.  If I go back and really work on it, it might turn into something good.  But honestly, I'll probably never look at it again. Another one, I feel really good about- At least in this moment.  It also needs work, but the bones of it feel good.  The third one was awful.  So awful that although I gave it a title, I wrote "This one sucks" in parenthesis beside it.  But there might be one decent line in there- of words or of music... Or neither. 

But who cares?! 

I wrote 3 freakin' songs today!  Songs number 36, 37, and 38 of this batch of 50.  Which I WILL make it to. I'm not going to get this close to the finish line, and then flake out.  I will crawl over that line if I have to.  But I'll get there.  On or before October 1!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

1970s Embroidered Shirts!

Over the weekend, me and my friend, Theresa went thrift store shopping, or I should say browsing.  Not much shopping, but lots of looking. And laughing.

We saw boxes of old dress patterns from the 1970s-  Mom made lots of homemade dresses for me back in the 70s, so it was fun to look at those.  As we were looking at them, we started reminiscing about the embroidery patterns that were popular in the 70s.  Unfortunately, we didn't run across any that day...

But, fortunately, seeing them gave me the idea to look on Etsy to see if I could find some. (Because what cool vintage stuff can't you find on Etsy!?) And voila!  I found several that I thought were cute, and bought them. Then I got out shirts Mom had made back in the day...  I've saved the ones I found in her closet- which were mine, hers, and a jacket she made for my brother.
my 1970s embroidered shirt- front
and back
Mom's embroidered shirt- front (as you can see, Ricky loves this one!)
and back
my brother's American Bald Eagle jean jacket
Soon, I will have my embroidery transfer patterns!  Lots of the same exact same graphics Mom used.  I can't wait to get an embroidery hoop and some thread and get busy.  CAN NOT WAIT.