Frayed Edges

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Photo credit: nobody knows anything on Flickr

Thank you, Universe, for making things increasingly difficult. No, really, I appreciate it. Riiiiight!

We owned two vehicles, my ex and me, when the divorce happened. One, a family-type Buick thing, we had inherited from his folks. The other, a small pick-up truck, we had inherited from my parents. Don’t get me started on the financial reasons we had to “inherit” cars instead of “buying” them but they do factor into why I am single now. Point being, I let him have the car from his parents. I, in turn, took the pick-up and called my parents begging for a trade. Would they take back the ugly little truck and give me their way too far gone I-swore-to-all-that-is-holy-I-would-never-drive-one mini-van that had hundreds of thousands of miles on it? Yes. Yes, they would. I took it.

I’d had it almost a year when it broke down. Back to my folks it went and for a period of time I had to cram my kids and myself into the the cab of that teeny, tiny pick-up truck which I took back in the interim. The van managed to survive and begin to run again. It came home. My father suggested that I keep the stupid truck too … just in case.

The van broke down. Surprise? No. It’s the fuel line … or the fuel pump. I’m mechanically inclined to know the problem is along those lines. I’m also broke enough to not be able to afford to deal with something that major right now. Fuel filter? No problem. Those other issues? Not a shot in hell.

So, the offspring and I continued to cram ourselves into the little truck. Not ideal, trust me. This also limits one’s trips to “in town” only. If you have ascertained how much I abhor this town then you know what it is like for me to stay here day after day after day after day with nowhere to go. But, it got the boys to school and me to work.

And now? No bueno. Oh, it runs. Barely. I thought it was the spark plugs. Nope. I changed them. Air filter? Nope. Fuel filter? Nope. I was told today I would need to cough up the funds to have it hooked up to a diagnostics machine. Um, yeah. That involves two things I can not swing right now: 1) Money and 2) Time off work.

This is the part where I run religious interference. I am a preacher’s daughter. I am a missionary kid. Don’t tell me I should be praying for God to bring me suitable transportation. Those prayers have been said … with pretty serious faith for more then two years. I don’t say this to start any sort of spiritual debate, but this is just one very small example of why I am pretty pissed off at God right now.

Why the hell can’t I just get a break? A very small one will do because this rope swing that I'm on ... it sucks.


Back in 2002, when I had a somewhat important job in Corporate America, my company moved from old rented offices into our own state-of-the-art building. Smoothly moving an entire corporation from Point A to Point B, even within the same city, can be a daunting venture so the powers that be (CEO & friends) decided every employee needed to attend the Who Moved My Cheese seminar on effectively dealing with change. (You can find the movie on YouTube if you’re really curious.)

I get it. Some people don’t like change and it freaks them out. Others may not like it, but they deal with the situation as best they can. Me? I love change. I thrive off change. I crave change. In fact, ten minutes into my mandated “dealing with change” seminar … they kicked me out of the class (because I was a mite bit excited) and told me to go back to work. “Yes, I would be fine with the transition,” they said. No shit.

Today, life is stagnate. It’s killing me.

“A person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.” ~Dune (1981)

Songs I Love

Two day later disclaimer: I chose to stick with mainstream pop & rock. I thought it best not to confuse with some of my more eclectic choices.

The good. The bad. The ugly. The guilty pleasures. The brilliant. The nostalgic. Here are a mere 26 of my favorite tunes: one for each letter of the alphabet. I will make an attempt to not repeat an artist. I make no promises.

A ~ Africa by Toto
Methinks no justification is needed on this one.
“I know that I must do what’s right/Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti/I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become …”

B ~ Behind Blue Eyes by The Who
I actually prefer the Limp Bizkit cover, but I have both versions in my iTunes.
“But my dreams they aren't as empty/As my conscience seems to be/I have hours, only lonely/My love is vengeance/That's never free …”

C ~ Cry by Faith Hill
Now, I don’t do a lot of country but this song … well, I could have written it.
“If I had just one moment at your expense/Maybe all my misery/Would be well spent …”

D ~ Desert Rose by Sting
I adore mainstream Western pop/rock fused with Eastern music. LOVE. IT.
“I dream of fire/Those dreams that tie two hearts that will never die …”

E ~ Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison
The first power ballad makes an appearance. It won’t be the last. Trust me.
“Though it’s been a while now/I can still feel so much pain/Like a knife that cuts you the wound heals/But the scar, that scar remains …”

F ~ Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen
“Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin’ world go round …” (Look up the lyrics yourself.)

G ~ Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite
I used to hate this song and then … it grew on me like a fungus and stuck.
“I’ve been told he can’t be sold/He’s not vicious or malicious/Just dee-lovely and delicious …”

H ~ Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley
“It's not a cry that you hear at night/It's not somebody who's seen the light/It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah …”

I ~ I Remember You by Skid Row
1. I listen to it at least once a day. 2. Three words: Sebastian Bach’s vocals.
“I paint a picture of the days gone by/When love went blind and you would make me see/I’d stare a lifetime into your eyes/So that I knew you were there for me/Time after time you were there for me …”

J ~ Just Older by Bon Jovi
It will never be one of their most loved songs, but I adore it.
“Like a favorite pair of torn blue jeans/This skin I’m in its alright with me/It’s not old -- just older …”

K ~ (The) Kill by 30 Seconds To Mars
Nope. I don’t have a good reason. Do I have to have one?
“I tried to be someone else/But nothing seemed to change/I know now, this is who I really am inside/Finally found myself/Fighting for a chance/I know now, this is who I really am …”

L ~ Lovefool by The Cardigans
Soooo catchy. Addictive. And, strangely relevant.
“Lately I have desperately pondered,/spent my nights awake and I wonder/what I could have done in another way …”

M ~ My Immortal by Evanescence
Dark. Melancholic. I adore Evanescence. (Can't imagine why.)
“These wounds won't seem to heal/This pain is just too real/There's just too much that time cannot erase …”

N ~ No Rain by Blind Melon

This song gets stuck in the brainPod and will … not … leave.
“And all I can do is just pour some tea for two/and speak my point of view/but it's not sane, It's not sane …”

O ~ One by U2

This one was tough. I had another “O” song picked out too. Alas!
“Have you come here for forgiveness?/Have you come to raise the dead?/Have you come here to play Jesus?/To the lepers in your head …”

P ~ Past the Point of No Return by Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera)
This may be the single most sensual song in the history of mankind.
“I have come here, hardly knowing the reason why/In my mind I've already imagined/our bodies entwining defenseless and silent/and now I am here with you/No second thoughts, I've decided. Decided . . .”

Q ~ Quicksand by David Bowie
Admittedly, the selection pool for Q is not so big. Still, this is The Bowie!
“I'm sinking in the quicksand/of my thought/and I ain't got the power anymore/Don't believe in yourself/Don't deceive with belief …”

R ~ Red, Red Wine by UB40
It was written by Neil Diamond. There’s your useless trivia for the day.
“I'd have sworn that with time/thoughts of you would leave my head/I was wrong and I find/just one thing makes me forget … Red, red wine …”

S ~ Say (All I Need) by OneRepublic
I heard it live first. Almost cried.
“Do you know where your heart is?/Do you think you can find it?/Or did you trade it for something/somewhere better just to have it? … Well, bless my soul/You're a lonely soul/Cause you won't let go/Of anything you hold …”

T ~ This Is Happiness by Gavin Rossdale

Again, I heard it live first. I hit iTunes at 3am when I got home that night (morning) and bought his entire ‘Wanderlust’ album.
“You make me so much better/I hope I don't make you worse/I'll meet you somewhere in there/if you get there first …”

U ~ Undiscovered by James Morrison
There is something about his voice that absolutely hypnotizes me.
“Well the time it takes to know someone/It all can change before you know it's gone/So close your eyes and I feel the way I'm with you now/Believe there's nothing wrong/I'm not running, I'm not hiding/But if you dig a little deeper, you will find me …. I'm not lost, no, no, just undiscovered …”

V ~ Vindicated by Dashboard Confessional
I love the word. I like the song too.
“Hope dangles on a string/Like slow spinning redemption/Winding in and winding out/The shine of it has caught my eye/And roped me in/So mesmerizing, so hypnotizing/I am captivated …”

W ~ Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim
Greatest. Music. Video. Ever.
“Walk without rhythm, it won't attract the worm …” [Note: The lyrics are so irrelevant to my love of this song. It’s the groove, man. The groove!]

X ~ X Static by The Foo Fighters
Whatever. It’s X. The only other song that came to mind was Xanadu and I just can’t possibly put that here. I’m embarrassed I even thought of it. Olivia Newton John is not my people on any planet. Just sayin’ …
“All the static we all left/Wait until the time has come/Figure that's where time comes from/Leaving all my senses numb …”

Y ~ Your Song by Elton John
This was Big K’s lullaby.
“And you can tell everybody this is your song/It may be quite simple but now that it's done/I hope you don't mind/I hope you don't mind that I put down in words/How wonderful life is while you're in the world …”

Z ~ Zoot Suit Riot by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
Your toe will tap. I promise. And … it started with Z.
“A whipped up jitterbuggin' brown eyed man/A stray cat frontin' up an eight-piece band/Cut me sammy and you'll understand/In my veins hot music ran”

Honorable mention (which, in reality, gives us 27 songs) goes to a song title that is a number:

# ~ 1984 by Bowling For Soup
Why? Because I love it and I will sing it at the top of my lungs. I don’t care who’s listening.
“She’s seen all the classics/She knows every line/Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink/Even St. Elmo's Fire/She rocked out to Wham!/Not a big Limp Bizkit fan/Thought she'd get a hand/On a member of Duran Duran …”

Leave a comment. Give me one song you love. Just one. C’mon … that’s not too hard! The more obscure the better. I absolutely ADORE finding new music. Share!

Riverfest Roundup 2009

I'M ALIVE! Now that we have that out of the way …

“The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend.” ~Chuck Palahniuk

… let me tell you about my weekend. Not weekend before last, mind you, or even this past one for that matter, but the one before both of those. What can I say? Life has been busy.

Since my first, and most excellent,
Riverfest experience last year, I spent a great amount of time throughout this year looking forward to Memorial Day (USA) Weekend 2009 in order to do it all over again. It came. I went. Now? I blog. Forgive the randomness. I have no intention of providing a chronological summation.

  • ‘Wanderlust’ is a fantastic album. It is. Of course, I’m bias. The title is WANDERLUST … how could I not be self-OBLIGATED to love it? But, Gavin Rossdale’s live show was HOT! Super hot! And … here is his tweet from the night of his Riverfest performance!
    Wilting? Dude, that’s not heat. Come back in late July. Please, come back!

  • Side note: I spent the entire week prior to Riverfest agonizing between The B-52s and Gavin Rossdale for my Friday night entertainment. I’m SO glad I chose the latter. Rock was the way to go.

  • Next year? Hotel room. Driving back and forth and back and forth and back and forth … is total bollocks.

  • Club hopping post-Riverfestivities (obviously that is not a word) does lead one to some “hidden” musical gems. May I introduce Joe the Show who we discovered at The Underground Pub Friday night. We (A & me) returned to the pub Saturday night when the festival closed. The band wasn’t playing, but they were there. We introduced ourselves. We danced. We flirted. We danced. We flirted. We danced. Um, yeah – so it was good night.

  • Saturday night I almost bitch-slapped one rude little snit of a pre-teen who actually proceeded to shove me out of her way in a desperate attempt to get a peek at the stage whilst Hinder was performing. Paging parents! Paging responsible parents!

  • Speaking of Hinder: We (B & me) gave up any attempt to fight through the masses for a spot closer to stage. No loss. The show was average. Music good. Showmanship lacking. They did sing a few new tunes … enough to peak my interest in regard to a new album.
  • Note to self for the future: Stopping at the survey booth yields $5 in Riverbucks just for answering a few mundane demographic type inquiries. Worth it.

  • Oddity: I didn’t eat one fried Oreo®.

  • Reality: I made up for it with drinks and curry and pie … and drinks.

  • I really should take a camera next year, but if I can’t fit it in my pockets then I don’t want to be stuck hauling something around.

  • There was a new venue this year in a field to the right of The Clinton Presidential Library (Shut up. I know it looks like a huge, steel, mobile home.). This is where Hinder and Heart performed. I found it to be a most excellent addition to the festivities.

  • A ferris wheel also lit up the night sky. I was far too impatient for standing in the line. I now regret that decision. It would have been incredible to see Little Rock and all the Riverfest happenings from the top.

  • Photo credit: jbparker on Flickr

  • Heart was INCREDIBLE … despite the fact we watched on the big screen in the sprinkling rain instead of in the mob of a crowd at the stage. Iconic! Classic!

  • Sunday it rained. Nay, it was a monsoon. 3 Doors Down and Flyleaf were cancelled. Boo!

  • Tweets from the festivities on Saturday:

  • Last year I emphasized the importance of decent shoes. This year I wore flip-flops all weekend. Good call! Granted, prior to departing each day, I dissected a cloth band-aid and stuck part of it between my toes so the band on the flip-flops wouldn’t rub off my skin.

  • It is possible to part ways with one’s friend(s) and attend different shows. Me? Hinder and Heart. A? Buddy Guy. I am joined at the hip with no one.

  • I didn’t flirt with a single law enforcement officer. Progress! (Yes, there is more to this story. No, I will not share.)

  • Speaking of police officers … apparently it takes SIX of Little Rock’s finest to escort ONE man, handcuffed, out the closest gate to a police car.
  • There was no showing of the tattoo to random strangers this year. (Again, there is more to this story.)

  • I go to Riverfest primarily for the concerts, but I think I would be content to just find a spot to hang out and people watch for 3 days. Next best thing to an airport, baby!

  • Sadly, I didn’t make it to the ‘Got Milk’ area of the festival during daylight hours. No free milk mustache photograph for me. A little bummed I am about that one.

  • I saw Annie’s twin brother … as a teenager. Frightening, it was.

  • And, finally …

  • General stupidity is magnified three-fold when people are in crowds.
“Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!” ~George Carlin (And, then … put them in a crowd!! Grrr.)

I could continue, I guess. There is far more in my mind … both bizarre and mundane. Sigh. Now the wait for announcements of next year’s musical lineups begins. And, as you all probably know by now, I hate waiting. Patience is not my virtue.

I do hope everyone has an amazing summer and might I suggest attendance of a music festival somewhere near you:
Festival Finder! (That link is North America-centric.)


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