Fun Fact About Danny Elfman

Did you know that Danny Elfman provided the singing voice for Jack Skellington in Tim Burton’s ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’?  He’s made such a name for himself as a Composer- Edward Scissorhands, The Simpsons, Spider-Man, Batman (I could go on)- it’s easy to forget that he was a Singer/Songwriter and Rock Star first.  He’s got a beautiful voice.  In fact, that’s what led me to this discovery, I flipped past Nightmare the other day and thought ‘Wow, whoever does Jack’s voice is really good…I wonder who it is.”  Incidentally, Chris Sarandon provides Jack’s speaking voice and Catherine O’Hara does Sally’s voice.   

I also just learned (while checking my facts on his official website) that Danny Elfman is self-taught and has had no formal musical training.  It’s amazing how distinctive you can be when you don’t have formal training holding you back.

Also, if you’ve never heard ‘Serenada Schizophrana’, Elfman’s first orchestral composition written specifically for the concert hall, go to his website and listen to the samples.  It’s definitely “Elfman-esque”, but he seems to stretch his arms a little too.  It’s actually really cool to concentrate on the music, rather than just have it complement a film.  I guess this is nothing new, the piece was originally performed in 2005 and the CD was released in 2006, but I just discovered it and I think it’s worth checking out.

So, there you go.  You’ve learned a little more about Danny Elfman….


Songs About Me

Sometimes, while I’m driving around completely sleep-deprived during the day, I’ll hear a song that’s taken on a whole new meaning now that I’m working third shift.  They’re songs that I’ve heard a million times before, but in my slightly punchy state, they’re hilareously poignant.  Here are a few that I’ve heard lately……


“I wake up every evening
With a big smile on my face
And it never feels out of place.
And you’re still probably working
At a 9 to 5 pace
I wonder how bad that tastes”  –‘Gives You Hell’ by The All-America Rejects


“There’s not enough hours in a day
To do all the things she’s just got to do
When the daylight fades and the night invades
She’s only just begun”  -“Gillian” by The Waifs


and the one I heard today that prompted this post…

“She only drinks coffee at midnight
When the moment is not right
Her timing is quite, unusual”    –‘Meet Virginia’ by Train

Good Coffee

I don’t know why breakroom coffee is so bad….but it is.  I’ve even made the coffee myself, trying all sorts of ratios and combinations.  Still bad.  I’m not picky, I’ll drink it, but I’m always conscious that it’s not great.  Working the overnight shift, there’s really not much choice. 

So, imagine my surprise when I just walked into the breakroom for my midnight caffeine fix and the sign said “Dunkin Donuts– Hazelnut- YUMMY!!!” (yes, it was labeled as ‘Yummy’).  And I’ll tell you….it is.   

Yum, it’s been a while since I’ve had coffee that really hit the spot.  At this point, with my work schedule, coffee=fuel.  It’s a means to an end.  Even my home coffee has been lacking.  I have a bad habit of trying to stretch the Keurig cup to make a double cup of coffee…so not worth it.

So, big ‘Thank You’ to my co-worker Amanda, who brought in the Hazelnut coffee.  You’ve inspired me to treat myself and make good coffee a priority.  It’s crazy that it hasn’t been.  You’d think that I’d make it even more of a priority while working third shift.  Lack of sleep has melted my brain, I suppose.

Off to peruse the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters website……

Thanks For the Memories Div

During the summer of 1997, between my Sophomore and Junior years of college, I had what I like to call my “Vermont Student Summer”. During the day I’d scoop Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, sometimes AT the Vermont Teddy Bear factory. And at the end of the day, I’d drive straight up Shelburne Road to my internship in the Sports Department at WCAX. I’d arrive during the 6p newscast (usually smelling of cream and chocolate) and be settled by the time the show was ending and the anchors were filing out of the studio.

Compared to the newsroom I see every day now, WCAX was small and and pretty plain. But at the time, it was the most exciting place I could imagine. Nobody outside of Vermont will understand this, but I saw Marselis Parsons, Sharon Meyer and JJ Cioffi every day. EVERY DAY. Sure, it seems silly now. But, like any kid in any city, I’d grown up watching the local news team every night at 6:00. It didn’t matter that they were just up I-89 in Burlington…these people were on TV.

One of my favorite stories from that summer was when I was working at Ben & Jerrys one Saturday and Marselis Parsons, 6pm anchor and known to friends & colleagues as “Div”, walked into scoop shop. I was still rather new to the station and, being a sports intern, I hadn’t had that much contact with the newsroom team. Still, I saw somebody I recognized and my reflex was to smile and say Hi. For a second, I panicked and worried that he’d think I was an over-familiar fan or worse…a complete dork. Instead, he smiled warmly and said “Hi Jessica!” and introduced me to his entire group as “the newest intern on the sports crew”. Then he said “I wondered if I’d ever bump into you here.” After I scooped their ice cream, he left a good tip and told me he’d see me Monday. It should be said that this entire time there was not one other sound in the ice cream shop. Everyone was staring (some which their mouths open) and as soon as the door shut, they (co-workers, customers) were asking me how I knew Marselis Parsons. My manager later remarked that “Robert Redford came into the shop a few years ago and didn’t get even close to that reaction.”


It’s been 10 years since I left Vermont for the glitz & glamour of 24 hours news, but I still love watching the WCAX 6pm news when I’m home. It just sounds comforting….the opening music, the news about agriculture, the softness (or complete lack) of the letter ‘T’. Marselis’ voice is the background while I’m helping my mom set the table or sitting on the couch with my dad. Unfortunately, next time I go home, the 6 o’clock news will be a little less familiar.

Tonight, Div will say good-bye to his WCAX viewers and the people who have spent a life-time watching him. He’ll wake up tomorrow retired and not having to be somewhere at 6:00 every night. After 42 years, he’ll have absolutely no professional obligation to know what’s happening in Vermont (although something tells me he’ll never quite turn away).

Unlike the long-time anchors in bigger markets, Parsons isn’t slick or flashy. He has no need to be. He’s not some Ron Burgundy-esque blow-hard, full of ego. He doesn’t have molded hair or strangely white veneers. He’s just a guy…the guy you get your news from.

But, you know, he’s still sort of a superstar to me.

Happy Retirement Div.



Sleep- I miss it.

As I was leaving work yesterday morning, I realized that in the previous 24 hrs I’d achieved 30 minutes of sleep.  That was it.  I barely made it home (seriously, scary).  When I did get home, I crashed and slept luxuriously…. for 6 hours (not nearly enough).  At 2pm, I had to pick up the kids.  I spent the afternoon entertaining a 4 year old and a 1 year old, making dinner and obsessing over the messiness of my house.  When Jason got home I was able to lie down for 90 minute….for the first 45, Z was screaming every 3 minutes (happy screams, angry screams, whatever- they were every 3 minutes).  I woke up to Amelia talking to me- and I literally had no idea what she was saying.  She just kept talking.  I think she was asking me something.  I sat and blinked at her and still couldn’t focus on what she was saying.  Then I had to get ready to go to work.

I can’t help but feel like I’m doing something wrong.  What am I missing?  How am I losing hours at a time without the benefit of gaining sleep?  If I’m going to be awake for unnatural amounts of time, shouldn’t I be accomplishing something more?  Nothing is getting done, and I’m still short on sleep, yet I don’t even feel like I’m getting quality time with my kids (because I’m so tired and busy trying to get things done). 

Jason told me during my pre-work meltdown (oh yes, there was a meltdown) that I need to let go a little and not obsess over doing housework.  That would make sense if our house was immaculate and I was just a bit OCD.  Unfortunately, our house right now is approaching the ‘Hoarders‘/’Intervention‘/‘Clean House’ level.   I don’t know, maybe the house can’t get any worse anyway.  I’d hate to risk it though.

He also told me that I need to use my weekends to relax and rest up and not stress myself out trying to do things.  I’d like to think that it would help to keep some semblance of normalcy and try to see people when I can (not that I’m doing a great job so far).  I’m feeling isolated enough already. 

It comes down to this:  I really, really want to be a supermom/superwife/superfriend/superemployee.  I want endless energy to accomplish everything.  I want to be able to subsist on little sleep.  But I’m not, I don’t & I can’t.

I’m trying to stay positive, and most days I am, the last couple days have just kicked my ass.

99 days left….  (at least I’m in double digits)

I just need some sleep.

Inventory of a 32 year old woman’s purse…

Yes.  Seriously.

Tonight is night #2 of my 4 month overnight rotation at work.  I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to be here…it’s magical.  *eyes rolling*  I can’t complain TOO much (although I’m sure I will) because my last rotation was 3 1/2 years ago.  And, really, it’s only four months….it’s a college semester.

At 2:30am the sleepiness begins, so I generally try to find a project.  It’s important to keep your mind engaged.  If you allow yourself to get fuzzy half-way through a 10 hour shift, it’s going to be a LONG night. 

Tonight’s project has been cleaning out my purse.  I know, major.  It’s a bit misleading to call my bag a “purse”. The term ‘Purse’  makes it sound very grown-up and solid….leather probably.  In reality, I carry a woven guatemalan-inspired bag that I originally bought for a music festival and can double as a diaper bag.  My usual M.O. is to let things collect in my bag until it gets too heavy and the strap breaks.  Then I buy a new bag, transfer the essentials & swear to myself that I’ll never do it again.  Really, I don’t think this is unusual.

So, needless to say, there was a lot of crap in my bag.  Once I dug out and disposed of all the random receipts, shopping lists, flyers & other papers, I had a weird collection of….”stuff”.  I’m a working mom & a pack-rat.  I often grab things on my way out the door and throw it into my bag, never to be seen again. 

I love being able to peek into other people’s stuff…purse, bathroom, make-up case…I have since I was little.  One of my features in Working Mother Magazine is the detail about what the featured cover mom carries in her purse (or always has with her).  So, because I’ve got the time, here’s a comprehensive list of what this 32 year old, slightly disorganized, working mom has in her purse at 3am on a Wednesday night…..



-Cellphone Case (which almost never holds the phone)

-2 partial books of stamps

-bottle of nail polish (Rimmel 403 Hypnotise)

-2 small bottles lotion (Rosemary Mint & Lemongrass Sage)

-1 pair little girl’s socks & 1 black knee-high sock

-2 tubes lip-gloss, 2 tubes lip balm & 1oz can of Bag Balm

-7 individually wrapped mints

-1 bottle infant Tylenol

-1 bottle Ibuprofen (with 1 pill inside)

-12 grocery coupons

-1 issue Cookie Magazine

-2 pouches Emergen-C

-1 ‘Hello Kitty’ Band-aid

-4 copies of Zaven’s vax records

-1 pair Barbie-size sneakers

Hmmm….I may need to de-clutter.


*Watch for future “Overnight Ramblings”.  I’m here for four more months….