Friday, February 29, 2008

You Don't Pull No Punches

My friend whose baby girl died of SIDS last year is expecting a new baby. She's actually due in just over three weeks.

Last night, our Bunco group hosted a shower for her. It was so much fun. It was a surprise and so cool to see the look on her face when she realized what was going on.

I was one of the co-hosts and was tasked with doing something with champagne. So, below is a recipe I found that turned out to be very tasty. I'll share it. I'm not generally a fan of super-sweet punches, but this one is a little different.

1 can Cherry-Pomegranate juice concentrate (original recipe calls for cranberry juice concentrate, but I substituted this)
1 can Pink Lemonade
1 can Limeade
2 bottles Champagne
1 bottle white wine (I used a Riesling)
1 liter club soda

1 lemon sliced
1 lime sliced

Blend all in a punch bowl and add fruit slices. You can also add frozen strawberries or raspberries.

I made a puree of fresh strawberries and fresh mango which I then froze in some butter molds shaped like dogwood blossoms and floated them on top of the punch. It was a very pretty and refreshing punch.

Five for Fighting

I'm stealing this from Rennratt because I just thought it was pretty funny. It probably has something to do with being battered and bruised by my own five-year old who thinks I'm his personal jungle gym to climb on, jump on, tackle, kick, punch, or otherwise roughhouse with, all in the name of playing Transformers or Spider-Man.


I say, bring 'em on!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Further on Up the Road

Your Life Path Number is 22

Your purpose in life is to use your power for good

Of all the life paths, yours has the most innate power.

Your power lies in your vision, and you must recruit others to help you in this vision.

You are able to be a great idealist, but you still have the practicality to get things done.

In love, you tend to be a big romantic - but you also tend to keep your distance.

You have a lot of potential, and it's sometimes hard to live up to.

Sometimes you just feel like slipping into obscurity and doing nothing.

You tend to be prone to dramatic emotions, until you step back and look at things honestly.

You Never Give Me Your Money

I know what you're thinking.

You're right. I'm a sell out.

I have an advertiser. We're in a trial relationship for the moment. We'll see how it goes. If s/he doesn't leave the cap off the toothpaste or squeeze it from the middle and I don't annoy her/him by stealing all the covers in the middle of the night, we may take it to the next level. So to speak.

The ad (to the left), is for a new web site called Doing Fine that is supposed to celebrate the positive things in life, to be a place where folks share stories of what is going right in their lives as opposed to just bitching about the negative (as some of us - namely me - are guilty of doing).

It seems like a fine idea. I can get behind that.

So, please take a moment to visit them and check it all out.

And have a happy day.

Stormy Weather

We just had a big storm blow through. I don't typically fear storms, but this one woke me up, and for some reason made me a bit nervous. It was all big, gusty winds, lightning and thunder. It was raining hard, but the wind was so fierce that you couldn't hear the rain over it.

But as I was sitting here, reading other blogs, suddenly I realized I could hear birds singing. And the patter of soft rain. Such a hopeful way to begin a day.

How lovely.

Nature does wonders for the soul.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Falling Slowly

Awards shows don't make me cry. Lots of things make me cry. But not superficial celebrities.

Last night, watching the Oscars, I cried.

The sheer joy and awe at performing his song at the Oscars that shone out of Glen Hansard's face moved me to tears. And the giddy yet shy smile on Marketa Irglova's face while she was playing piano and singing fairly shouted, Can you believe this?! We're really here. Doing this! Wow!, while at the same time it conveyed her obviously sweet and earnest disposition.

The song was amazing. So perfectly said and beautiful. So hopeful. So right. Sung so passionately. And played on that obviously much-loved guitar that Hansard plays. Oh! It just all made me so happy. It was just so right. My joy at their winning Best Song made me clap and do a little dance where I sat. I mean really! I can't imagine better people winning. It's such a redeeming moment for genuine artists, a group of like-minded friends could create a work of art, a movie, and put it out there and have it lead to genuine recognition for their efforts.

As a writer and as the wife of a talented and hard-working musician, the friend of many other working artists in various genres, it gave me great hope that real art created by real, thinking, feeling individuals (as opposed to song-writing hacks hired by studios and labels to throw some words and notes on a page and hand them to some hand-picked pop-tart and mashed together with ProTools and pitch correction software) is still being recognized at that level.

Yay for the little man and woman!

I also loved both of their speeches and I swear...Jon Stewart will now and forever have a special place in my heart for bringing Marketa Irglova back on stage to give her acceptance speech after being cut off by the producers. And I daresay, hers was one of the finest, most inspiring speeches I've ever heard given on an awards broadcast. In fact, I was so moved by it that I want to share it with you in case you did not see it yourself:

Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don't give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along the way. Thank you

Irglova also wins double-Dawn points by using one of my all time favorite Irish expressions, fair play, which basically means congratulations.

And just because his speech was pretty special too, here's what Hansard had to say in his speech:

Thanks! This is amazing. What are we doing here? This is mad. We made this film two years ago. We shot on two Handicams. It took us three weeks to make. We made it for a hundred grand. We never thought we would come into a room like this and be in front of you people. It's been an amazing thing. Thanks for taking this film seriously, all of you. It means a lot to us. Thanks to the Academy, thanks to all the people who've helped us, they know who they are, we don't need to say them. This is amazing. Make art. Make art. Thanks.

Of course, it's all just made better for me by the fact that Hansard is Irish, Once was shot in Dublin, and I'm a sucker for Irishmen.