Simple Coincidences

I was skimming through my Facebook newsfeed tonight when I came across my friend Seth’s profile.  I went to high school with Seth, we had the same bus-stop, but I’m not sure that I’ve actually seen or talked to him since we graduated.  He’s now in California managing Topo Ranch…sweet life.  So, I was looking at Seth’s profile (I’d actually come to it from  Topo Ranch’s Facebook page), and I noticed that his website was listed as www.simplyseth.com.  I found this hilareous (for obvious reasons), so I decided to just check it out and see what was there.

Hey, guess what….

SIMPLYSETH IS USING THE SAME THEME AS SIMPLYJESS!!!!

Yeah….same background, same header, same cool-ass car in a tunnel.  Now, I know that this is a standard WordPress theme and many other people have it too.  But we came from a small school in a small valley in Vermont and we went completely seperate ways….and we’re apparently sharing a bit of the same brain. 

To be fair, he had his set-up WAY before me (years).  Maybe I secretly idolize Seth.  Maybe it’s such a secret that *I* didn’t even know about it. 

He hasn’t been blogging lately.  He’s been busy selling cool T-shirts (go buy one).  I guess it’s a good thing.  I’d hate for there to be an East Coast-West Coast battle….especially because it would probably be pretty, um, Simple.

Strangely, this was not my only bizarre “small world” connection today.  I was raving (via Twitter) about the ecobags  that I’d just received in the mail and my friend Margot replied and said ‘Hey, the CEO is my cousin!’.  I’d ordered the bags through a third party vendor that had absolutely no connection to my friend from college (who now lives in MA).  Are you kidding me?

Yeah, I know that the internet makes the whole world smaller….but I still love a good “Wow, what are the chances???” story.

BTW, if you’re on Facebook, become a fan of Topo Ranch.  They’re shooting for 5000 fans right now. 

And check out ecobags because, well, you always need a reusable bag.  I bought 3 of the string bags- 2 totes & a long-handled.  I’ll let you know what I think once I get a chance to use them.

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My Birthday Buddy

While I still have 10 more minutes of my birthday, I wanted to mention my birthday buddy.  You know what I’m talking about…the celebrity that you share a birthday with.  Don’t pretend you don’t keep track.  I just learned today that I share my birthday with *drumroll please*  the incomparable Buddy Guy.  I can’t believe that I didn’t know this until today (because I AM one of those dorks who knows which celebs I share a birthday with – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Delta Burke, Hilary Swank, Jaime Pressly). 

Ladies & gentlemen….

Buddy Guy is 73 years old today and he can kick your ass.

By the way, I was at this show in June (although it’s not my video).  If you ever have the chance to go to the Wanee Music Festival….GO!!!

Today- July 30

July 30 is….

…Amelia’s half birthday

…the day I found out I was pregnant with Z

…the day my middle school best friend’s daughter died in a car wreck

…National Cheesecake Day

…the day they removed cancer from my father-in-law’s body (hopefully completely)

…my birthday

Happy Birthday to Me……

marilyn

I Wanna Rock……

rockofages

Okay, look, I’m not a big Broadway musical person. I like the idea of it. I enjoy going to an occasional show. But I’m not a Broadway person. I have not seen Rent 43 times nor have I memorized every line of Wicked (although I MAY know people who have done both). And while I’ve sung along with my sister’s copy of the soundtrack to Into the Woods on a road trip or two, I don’t own any soundtracks myself.

So, when I was sent a copy of  the Original Cast Recording of Rock of Ages, I really wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it.  I didn’t really know anything about the except that it features ’80’s rock songs and it stars that Constantine guy from American Idol.   This is how it’s described on the website

Set in 1987 in a legendary Sunset Strip rock club, a small-town girl meets a big-city dreamer and they fall in love to the greatest metal songs of the 80’s. The musical is an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and more.

I find the idea really fascinating and entertaining (the greatest hair band songs EVER being turned into a musical).  But, seriously, hair bands & musical theatre…..really?  See, I know some people who are still into this music- not in an ironic way, but a straight-faced stonewashed jeans & fringe wearing way- and I couldn’t see them being into it.  Of course, they’re not the target audience.  The target audience is people like a lot of my friends who meet up on Monday nights for Metalsome and jam to ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ while walking down the cereal aisle at Kroger (wait, that was actually me).  So, throwing caution to the wind, I threw the CD in and gave it a listen.

The track list is insane:

Just Like Paradise / Nothin’ But A Good Time
Sister Christian
We Built This City / Too Much Time On My Hands
I Wanna Rock
We’re Not Gonna Take It
Heaven/More Than Words / To Be With You
Waiting For A Girl Like You
Wanted Dead Or Alive
I Want To Know What Love Is
Cum On Feel The Noize / We’re Not Gonna Take It (Reprise)
Harden My Heart / Shadows Of The Night
Here I Go Again
The Final Countdown
Any Way You Want It / I Wanna Rock (Reprise)
High Enough
I Hate Myself For Loving You / Heat Of The Moment
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Can’t Fight This Feeling
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Oh Sherrie
The Search Is Over
Don’t Stop Believin’

Jason saw the list and promptly shouted “This is the greatest album ever! Is it the original artists?”  Me: “um, no. It’s a musical”.  Jason (disappointed): “Oh”.

I’ll be honest, my first thought when I started listening to this CD was “WTF?”.  Most musical soundtracks feature original songs, so when you hear them you think “okay, this is a song that goes with this show.”  You have no expectations.  But these songs aren’t just songs you know, they’re song that are as close to “anti-musical theatre” as you can get.  When you look at the track list, particularly if you haven’t seen the show, you’re going to have certain expectations of how it’ll sound.  And when the first song begins and the intro features that “musical theatre talk” between verses…it’s a little strange.

Nevertheless,  the first time through, I listened with an opened mind.  And the more I listen, the more it grows on me.   I definitely liked some songs more than others.  The ballads translated a little better.  The “Heaven/More Than Words / To Be With You” combo was nice & I really enjoyed “I Want to Know What Love Is”.  I personally preferred the male singers to the female performers…the women sounded a bit more “show tune-y”.   I couldn’t get past the fact that a woman was singing “Here I Go Again”, when I have such a strong mental image of Tawny Kitaen rolling around on the hood of a car in the Whitesnake video.    

One thing that definitely wasn’t lacking was the backing music.  From the  first note, the music was powerful and loud, full of guitar solos.  I’d imagine that in the show, there’s a pretty bad-ass band onstage.  I bet this show is A LOT of fun to see live. 

All in all, the soundtrack is just fun.  It won’t change the world, but what musical does? *Well…except for Rent, that had a pretty heavy impact.* I could picture people turning this up loud  in the car on a sunny day.  I’m not sure how much it would be appreciated by metal fans from back in the day….but for people who frequent musicals and fondly remember Aqua Net & Acid Wash, this is gold.   

Music Makes Me Happy

The other day I was feeling really, really down.  It doesn’t matter why, I was just feeling upset and pissed off and angry at the world.  By the time I had to leave for work, I was feeling like the day had no hope.  I’d dropped Z off with the babysitter crying and screaming because he has molars erupting through his gums, I couldn’t find my phone which I had JUST used & my keys were nowhere to be found.  I was running around my house, slamming doors and screaming profanity and acting like a crazy person.  When I found my keys, on the floor of my unlocked car, I was running 30 minutes late.  If it wasn’t a huge news week (or couple weeks) because the King of Pop had died, I probably would have just called in sick….or mental.

So, I drove to work, feeling a little bit crazy, listening to XM Radio.  I’d left it on The Coffee House, which is strange because I usually stick to more up-tempo music when I’m driving home from work in the middle of the night, and I was about the change the station to something a little angrier when a new song started and it was called “The Cape”.  I’d never heard the song before, probably because it was originally written and performed by Guy Clark, who I get the impression is more old-school country and I know little about old-school country.  If he’s not old-school country, or my classification offends you, I apologize.  I just keep finding articles about him on CMT.com. 

You know when a song just grabs you?  Yeah, that’s what happened.  It was simple and brilliant and it made me want to jump off the roof of my garage and fight crime.

The Cape
(Guy Clark/Susanna Clark/Jim Janosky)
Eight years old with a floursack cape
Tied all around his neck
He climbed up on the garage
He’s figurin’ what the heck
Well, he screwed up his courage up so tight
That the whole thing come unwound
He got a runnin’ start and bless his heart
He’s headed for the ground

Well (yes) he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape

Now he’s all grown up with a floursack cape
Tied all around his dreams
And he’s full of spit and vinegar
And he’s bustin’ at the seams
Well, he licked his finger and he checked the wind
It’s gonna be do or die
He wasn’t scared of nothin’ boys
He was pretty sure he could fly

Well (yes) he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape

Now he’s old and gray with a floursack cape
Tied all around his head
He’s still jumpin’ off the garage
And will be till he’s dead
All these years the people said
He was actin’ like a kid
He did not know he could not fly
So he did

Well (yes) he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape
Well (yes) he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape

 If, for some bizarre reason, reading the lyrics didn’t make you giddy, this video surely will…

The version that I heard on XM actually wasn’t Guy Clark, although his version is very good and reminds me of visiting with someone’s grandpa, it was Eric Bibb.   If you haven’t heard Eric Bibb before, go check him out…he’s a great bluesman with some cool European influences.  I got to work and looked him up, wondering why I hadn’t known about him before.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that this mystery musician is actually the guy who sings one of my favorite songs on one of Amelia’s favorite CDs.  

I bought Putumayo’s World Playground when Amelia was 1 and in the last three years it has had a 99% success rate in getting her to stop crying.  It also has the benefit of not being full of freakishly annoying “Kids Music”.  The album features traditional and contemporary songs from around the world…various genres, various languages.  I originally bought it because I noticed that it had a version of Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds” performed by Cedella Marley (Bob’s daughter).  It’s a great album.  The kids love it.  Eric Bibb’s ‘Just Keep Going On’ is the “United States” song.   It’s funny, I always pictured a weathered old man singing.  Not so much.

(I couldn’t find video of ‘Just Keep Going On’, but this seemed pretty similar)

 

I wonder what I’ll find tomorrow……

 

 

 

Nine Years Ago….

…I married my High School Sweetheart.

Our vows described us both as “fiercely independant”…and we are.  Yet our paths have intertwined for over half our lives.  We’ve become each other’s other half. 

We’ve laughed and cried and fought and loved. 

We’ve brought 2 perfect children into the world.

We’ve circled our wagons and clung to each other when the world was harsh.

We’ve spread our arms and shared our joy when the world was kind.

I Love You.

jj1

 

jj2

 

Bring on the next year and double digits!