Sunday, October 30, 2011

sisterhood everlasting

I've always had a love and passion for reading. I like to follow other peoples stories. I like to know that I'm not alone, so I always try to find something in characters that are a little like me.

When I was in high school, my friend Carlotta suggested I read the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" books. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I loved the way they were written, I loved how it defined true friendship. I loved how each of the four girls were facing their own unique challenges..and I loved that even though they were all so different, I saw a little of myself in each of them. Shy and cautious like Lena, easily hurt with a big heart like Carmen, sarcastic and misunderstood like Tibby, and curious and a little lost like Bridget. Over the past four years since the final book in the series was released, I've thought about these characters from time to time. Did Bridget ever find true happiness? Did Carmen make it big? Did Tibby get over her angsty phase? Did Lena and Kostos finally get together?

Ann Brashares, the genius behind the series, answered my questions when she released Sisterhood Everlasting. I have wanted to get my hands on it since I found out about it, I just "didn't have time". See, ever since I've gotten a job, I've pushed off reading. Even though it is one of my biggest joys in life, I just simply stopped. I've gone through countless books in the past seven months, but only read a chapter or two before my mind has jumped and gotten distracted. This past weekend, I sat down and read Sisterhood Everlasting...and it made me fall in love with reading again. I found myself immediately investigated in the characters, digging from my memory to link their stories from the original series. My heart went out with them as they face tragedy, love, heartbreak, "finding themselves", something I'm quite used to.

I started the book yesterday afternoon, and I finished it in less than 24 hours. Now I'm excited to start my next book, The First Husband.

There's a deeper meaning here than just reading, kids. When something brings you joy- when you fall in love with it- don't give up on it. Don't push it away. Because at the end of the day it's always going to be there for you.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I have to say, this is one of the hardest album reviews I've ever written. I love this album so much I want to tell every single person about it, but I don't know how to accurately describe how good it is, so I end up just saying things like "HER VOICE. THE WORDS. JOFJFOJJSAOFSAJ". Here is my not so awesome attempt at convincing you in buying this album.

Mr Know It All- Perfect choice for a first single. It really gives listeners a glimpse of what to expect on the album. It's sassy, catchy, up beat, gospel-y. It's empowering and refreshing, especially with some of the other crap on the radio these days. It's quite popular, too. I hear it at least twice a day on the radio. Also, can I just say that the video is really what made this song for me? I liked the song, but I wasn't in love with it until I saw the video. The concept is amazing. You tell em, Kel.

'Cause I'm living my truth without your lies

What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger). This weekend I am going to begin training for my next 1/2 marathon, and this song has already landed a spot on my "training playlist". It's a solid pop song, up there with "Since U Been Gone". It's an anthem, it's powerful. When I hear this song, I picture myself on a dance floor with all my best friends, shouting the words at the top of our lungs.

Thanks to you I got a new thing started
Thanks to you I'm not a broken hearted
Thanks to you I'm finally thinking bout me
You know in the end the day you left was just my beginning
In the end...

Dark Side. Where do I begin? My favorite songs on past Kelly album's are always her more vulnerable and raw ones. This one is just that type. I love the way it starts off with the childlike whimsical sound. I also very much relate to this song. I have a "dark side", and that is severe anxiety. One of my biggest fears is that I'll never meet someone who loves me and my flaws. What I'm looking for is someone who can help remind me that anxiety is not my whole life, that life is bigger than that- and Kelly sings exactly that in this song. When I first heard this song it took a stab at my heart and sent chills down my spine. Kelly has once again proved how relatable of an artist she is. I love the raw emotion you can hear in her voice. Love this song, one of my favorites on the album, and holds a special place in my little dark sided heart. :)

It's hard to know
What you can become
If you give up
So don't give up on me
Please remind me who I really am

Honestly. The fact that this song follows Dark Side is genius. She opens with "could you love someone like that", after just singing about her dark side. You know, when I first listened to the album, this song didn't really speak to me, but now it's one of my favorites. Her voice is absolutely killer on this track and I am dying to hear it live. The line "beautiful lies" gets in my head at work, and makes me want to run and grab my ipod just to hear it. The soulful, gritty Kelly side really shows on this track. It's another sort of haunting, gut wrenching tune, and Kelly's voice just captures you. It's one of those songs where you're like "CHRIST! This is why the girl won Idol!". Hauntingly gorgeous. Especially towards the end, when she sounds on the verge of tears.

beautiful lies
Bringing out the green in your eyes
Perfect disguise for envy and pride

You Love Me may be the catchiest song on the album. It's the one I like to jam to in my car. Wouldn't be surprised if this is a single, I imagine it would do very well on pop radio. Very catchy, great's basically turning the heartbreak back on the jerk, saying "you know what? no. I AM good enough- it's you who is not good enough. I'm gonna sing my face off now". The rythmn is very clappy and catchy. OH! Also! The part where she sings "you can't handle this, you can't handle this" makes me really want a mashup where she then goes into "I don't think you're ready for this jelly" but that's just me.

You couldn't win so you turn it around..

Einstein. Ugh. There's usually one track on every Kelly album that I can't stand. Hi, here's Einstein. The unfortunate thing is that her voice actual sounds killer on this song..especially the last few seconds when the music cuts and its just her soulful voice. And I imagine that it's a fun performance piece at concerts. I This song probably belongs on a Selena Gomez album. If you're trying to prove that Kelly is a mature artist with solid pop songs, don't play this song. It contradicts that statement. I can think of about 10920192 "unreleased" Kelly songs that should replace this one.

You can stop wasting my time
Without you I'm just fine

Standing In Front Of You is the first ballad on the album, and a solid one at that! It's subtle, but strong, and very relatalbe. Everyone has wished that someone would just realize what they had standing right in front of them. The chorus is pretty cool, the way they stacked the harmonies. It gives it a more "feel good, fall in love" sound.

You can close your eyes, don't worry. I'll still be here in the morning

Forgive You kind of reminds me of the type of song Kelly's background singers/very talented musicians JillandKate would release, just a little more production value to it. I love JillandKate's by the transitive property (hey look, I'm einstein too!) I love this song. The best part, vocally, is the bridge. It's your typical pop rock jam. It gets in your head. I know from experience.

I forgive you
We were just a couple of kids
Trying to figure out how to live doing it our way

Hello. This song is interesting. The handclaps in the background kind of MAKE IT. I can just imagine how fun this will be in concert. It's not one of my favorites, but it's catchy and relatable. And the way she sings the word "hello" is fantastic.

holding onto memories of when I didn't know. ignorance isn't good but it beats being alone

War Is Over. One of my favorites, for sure. Kelly puts her foot down and says she isn't going to put up with it anymore. You go girl! This is one of those songs where get stuck on what to say- it's just a solid song and fits with the theme of the album. Take a listen.

i used to let you paint ‘em pretty pictures
you got me caught up with your, you’re my girl forever
so i forgive you, it felt good when you hold me
yeah you owned me
now you wish you had really known me

Let Me Down. Another potential single, this is a mid tempo catchy song where Kelly shows her authority. It's a bit darker than other singles, maybe not as pop sounding, but it's still catchy and a solid song. The best part is most def when she lets it rip and sings out "cause I know by now" and then hands us the chorus again. Terrific.

I need you to be there when you say you're gonna be
I care too much and you'll care enough to me
I want some place to rest my head without worrying
It's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair to me

You Can't Win is a very clever song that steps away from the heartbreak/falling in love theme with the rest of the album. It's a song for the underdogs, a theme similar to popular songs like "born this way", "firework" and "raise your glass". This one is dedicated to everyone who's a "walking disaster", and kelly sings off some of the stereotypes out there. It's a feel good song...and I can't wait to be singing along to it at her concert with all my fellow Kelly fans.

if you speak, you'll only piss em off. if you don't, you're another robot. if you stop, they'll just say you quit. if you don't, you might lose your shit.

Breaking Your Own Heart is a beautiful ballad that I can relate too. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one hurting myself, not other people...I don't give myself a chance sometimes and I let fear take hold. I also tend to push people away when they get too close. Kelly sings about that, in a tender, gentle, bit country-ish way.

it's not too late, I'm still right here, if only you'd let go of your fears

Don't You Wanna Stay. Speaking of country :) If you've turned your radio on in the past year than you are already familiar with this beautiful country duet with Jason Aldean. I mean, Jason and Kelly probably have the two sexiest voices in music. Put them together, and you have a Grammy deserving song. I'll admit I usually skip this song when I'm listening to the full album, but only because I've heard it about a zillion and one times on the radio and I've been craving new Kelly music for years. I can't say enough good things about this song. It's a love song that makes me want to fall in love.

we can make forever feel this way, don't you wanna stay

Alone a great pop rock track that could have replaced Einstein and all would be well with the world. Basically it's saying that Kelly feels nothing when she's with this guy, that she just feels alone with him, not the way it should feel but then! she turns it around...she found someone new, and guess what, he doesn't make her feel alone. SNAP. The way the chorus is song is pretty cool, and sassy.

you're gonna miss me, so get ready

Don't Be A Girl About It. I haven't quite decided how I feel about this song. It makes me laugh. It's sassy and catchy, especially the "oooooh's" in the chorus. The intro is very similar to the intro of "my life would suck without you" which I found interesting. But yes, a good car song, a good break up song, will be a good concert song if she puts it on her setlist.

I guess it's true that love can grow in different directions
I chose the high road and you chose to be a girl
I know you're mad at me now
And it's all my fault somehow
Here comes my favorite part
You're so misunderstood

The Sun Will Rise is a duet with Kara DioGuardi. Correction. It is a perfect, flawless duet with Kara DioGuardi. Kara is not one of my favorite people. However, one thing I admire about her is her work with helping people who are facing addiction and depression and pulling them through it with music. Guess what? I think this song will do that. We know Kelly can sing, but dang- Kara can SANG too! It's got a bit of a country feel, especially Kara's part, but it is one of the most beautiful songs on any Kelly album. The use of the gentle violin was a wise choice, along with the lyrics and harmonies. Thanks Kelly and Kara for giving me a song to get through my days. One of my favorite songs.

Sometimes you just need a little faith (All you need is a little faith)
There's an answer to your prayer
And I swear that there'll come a day yeahh
The sun will rise

Why Don't You Try. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason we fell in love with Kelly in the first place. This song is vocal powered, and for good reason. It's a little old school/gospel sounding with a whole lot of soul. You know what I want? I want Kelly to perform this song at an awards show, drop the mic and walk away. So she can prove that she is a legit artist with a flawless voice.

heavier hearts won't justify why I'm gone today

The best songs: Dark Side, Honestly, You Love Me, War Is Over, The Sun Will Rise, Why Don't You Try

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Lately I've been quite frustrated on the writing front because I have no inspiration. Zip. Very, very rarely anymore do I go through a day and have this "I HAVE to write about that moment". As someone who uses writing primarily as an outlet, it's a very draining problem to have. I'm not making much progress on the Laurence book either, mostly because every time I sit down to work on it I get frustrated and give up.

As you can probably tell, I'm cranky lately. Cranky and stressed. In fact, as I'm writing this I'm sitting in a Panera- my headphones are in and my music is pretty loud. Yet I can hear the small child a few tables away screaming. And I kind of want to throw a bagel at him.

But,enough of the crankiness. Honestly, despite my cranky mood and lack of inspiration, I do have three stories to share that shed some light on my week.

The first was that I realized I had something in common with one of our patients. That doesn't happen often, seeing as they are in their 90's-100's. But, I was visiting a patient with one of my volunteers, and noted what beautiful eyes the patient had. They were huge, blue, bright. A few days later, at one of our meetings, I mentioned to a nurse how huge the patient's eyes were. Her response? "I hope you didn't say anything to her. She hates that. She always tells me 'Don't say anything about my eyes'"


That was (and sometimes still is) me. My eyes are very often the first thing a person notices about me, and I hear it often...especially when I was a kid. I didn't want to go to preschool because I was afraid someone was going to say something about my eyes. I hated the attention...and I still get a little shy when someone mentions it now. That little insecurity that I share with that patient made me kind of come back down to earth and realize I do have something in common with the patients, and that I can, in a very small way, understand them.

The second story has to do with a volunteer/co worker interaction. I had just been telling someone that I was worried I was so busy and stressed about my job that I would stop enjoying it and just be going through the motions. Well, without giving away too many details, I will say that one of my co workers made me remember why I love this job. She was very appreciate of one of my volunteers and went out of her way to show the appreciation. the volunteer was touched, and it added fuel to her energy, so that she can keep going and be the best hospice volunteer she can be :) I'm so happy to know that we can still be open in our gratitude towards others.

The final was yet another work related story. We were at a facility wrapping up an event when one of our aides walked in. She was apologizing for missing the event, and my coworker Sarah and I were telling her not to worry about it. Sarah wrapped up the conversation by saying "Just have a good day!" and the aide's response was "You know, I generally do have good days". We all were just kind of awed by that. It was a relief to see someone with such a positive attitude, a genuine positive attitude. Her response keeps ringing through my head, and it's kind of become my new motivation.

I suppose a word that describes how I'm feeling is stuck. I've got this job and making my own money for the first time, yet I can't move out of my parents house yet because I haven't saved enough. I have great ideas for Laurence's book, but I can't find the motivation or inspiration to actually sit down and write it. I want to go to grad school, or at least start taking classes, but I don't know what I want to be.

I guess I just do what I can. I work towards my goals, slowly but surely I will get there. I just don't want to do it alone anymore.

My Goals
-Move out by April/May
-Detroit Free Press 1/2 Marathon October 2012
-Be taking night classes by fall 2012
-Do a little writing, even just an hour every Saturday, for the book.
-Nashville by 2016.

Monday, October 3, 2011

life update

I feel like I just did one of these life update posts, but I feel like it's the only way to clump everything I want to say together. So, enjoy.

What's Going On...In Life..

I guess the biggest thing is that I am now the volunteer coordinator for both workload has now increased by two so there will be a lot of late nights and Saturday work days until I can get things under control. I think I'll enjoy it once I have it all under my belt, there's just a lot of things that need to be figured out on my end. It took me a good 2-3 months to get everything down when I originally took the job, and now I'm kind of doing it all over again...but need to get it organized in a shorter amount of time. The plus sides are that I feel good about where things are in my original office, I have a ton of support, and I do ENJOY my job. Just...October is going to be a little insane, is all. And by a little I mean a lot.

I took a spiritual gifts workshop. I had heard about them before, and wanted to do it, just never had the time. I learned a lot in those few Thursday night classes. Mainly that my gift is encouragement. It wasn't a huge surprise, but it is very humbling to see what God is doing in my life and how I am able to use that gift on a day to day basis.

I'm still dieting and working on weight issues, although the past week really screwed me over. But this is a new week, and I will continue working hard. I'm house/dog sitting and probably can't get out to go to my classes at the Y, but I'll be doing some walking.

I've been to two weddings over the past three weeks. They were both incredibly special for two reasons. Dave and Katie's was more emotional than anything. I spent an entire year with those two and watched them turn from strangers, to friends, to best friends, to a couple, to a married couple. I was honored to be in attendance, those two, and Nate, are more like family than anything to me and I want nothing but happiness and love for them. It was also a really great way to spend some time with Dean, Jason, and Meghan. As I said to my parents, those friends are people who know me in a way that no one else does. They were there with me through the greatest experience of my life of Mercy Volunteer Corps. Sure they didn't know everything about hs or my college experience, but they knew me inside and out as a person. I had a great, beautiful time.

Anne and Jesse's wedding was also incredibly special. Not only was it one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever attended, it was so great to see the support they had from family and friends. They've been dating since they were 16- with some breaks- but still. Back then they were just kids, yet they have stuck by each other and loved each other every moment. And then there they were, getting married. Some of my most favorite people in the entire world were in that room of the reception. Every time a song played that was a "high school" song for us, we all just kind of looked at each other, laughed, and danced it all away. I'm lucky to know Anne and Jesse, and those friends. As I said to Anne when I hugged her goodbye "thank God for algebra class". That's when Anne and I became friends, and she has always been like a little sister to me, despite time and distance between us.

Both of those weddings made me want to get married. Okay, maybe not married, but it made me sick of being single. And it made me think about who would be in my bridal party.

What I'm Looking Forward To
CLEVELAND WEEKEND IN NOVEMBER. I'm going to Cleveland November 4th-6th and it's going to be the best weekend ever. I get to see some of my most favorite people and hear good live music.

Thanksgiving. JP and Sara are coming back for it and we have fun outfits planned. Muahaha.

What I'm Reading
I don't have time to read anymore. I know, sad. I suppose I could read instead of watch my fall tv shows, but nah. I want to read the new Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book- BADLY.

What I'm Watching
Monday- The Sing Off
Tuesday- Glee, The New Girl
Wednesday- Modern Family
Thursday- Greys

I slip in X Factor sometimes.

What I'm listening to
Lady Antebellum, Gavin Degraw, and NeedtoBreathe are the three albums I'm currently obsessed with.

So to sum it all up- I want to get married, I don't read, and I'm overwhelmed by my workload. HAPPY OCTOBER!