Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Slipping and Sliding

This morning I commuted in my first Lexington snow storm.  There wasn't much snow, but I didn't hit a single road that had been sanded or salted during my 10 mile journey to the office.  I drove past 3 accidents and saw the guy behind me at a stop light get rear-ended (so glad he left some space between the two of us.)  After some white knuckle moments I arrived at the office only to discover that I was locked out since most of the office hadn't made it in yet, apparently several of them were smart enough to know that snow days (or mornings) are fairly frequent around here this time of year.

As I drove I sang along to the radio (to get past the knot I always get in my stomach when I have to drive in the snow.)  I realized that two of my current favorite country songs are an interesting contrast, at least at first glance -  Miranda Lambert's "White Liar" and Jason Aldean's "The Truth."  At second glance the songs are both about those little lies we tell to protect ourselves.  I found myself comparing the songs (particularly Jason Aldean's) with blogging.  I realized that there are times when I'm blogging that I ignore the not so great and try and focus on the positive - and I have a feeling I'm not the only person who does this.  This means that we read blogs and it appears that people have these great positive lives, which is great - but let's be honest, it sometimes makes us feel that there is something wrong with our life.

I'm not saying I'm going to start writing about my bad days - because the truth is for me, focusing on the positives helps me get through the not so great.  But I am going to try and remember that what I read on someone's blog is only part of the story and I promise to stop trying to compare my life to someone else's who seems all shiny and golden on the surface.  Enough deep thoughts, on to the music.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Settling In

It has been a crazy couple of weeks, filled with apartment hunting, moving and getting to know a new job and group of coworkers.  I'm exhausted but I'm also excited and invigorated.  I'm enjoying the people I'm working with and I feel like I'm already making a impact - which always makes the time fly by.

I took advantage of the holiday Monday and spent the weekend apartment hunting, I must have seen at least 25 apartments trying to find a decent place that fit my tight budget.  Thanks to a bit of negotiation, I found a place and moved in this weekend.  I'm renting furniture, so it was interesting Friday afternoon to see what showed up.  With the furniture in place, it was time to all the other things you need in an apartment - things like bedding, towels, dishes, pan, iron etc.

It took multiple trips to Wal-mart and Target  to remember everything, AND to find the best deals (I bought - and returned - 3 sets of towels in my search for cheap, but non scratchy towels.)  After spending Friday and Saturday shopping, cleaning and hauling loads of stuff out of the car and up the stairs, I finally feel settled in and at home.  I'm hoping to a little cheap decorating so it doesn't feel quite so barren in the next few weeks, but until then, I am happy to have a nice place in a good location to call home.

After a crazy Friday and Saturday, I'm enjoying a restful Sunday and thought I'd share two recent discoveries.  First, an amazing photographer, Trey Ratcliff.  I've spent literally hours digging through his blog, his work is stunning:

Next up, Jace Everett, I listened to his amazing album, "Red Revelations" this weekend while I cleaned and unpacked.  I love his rootsy, bluesy sound.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

In a Moment

Today I got to see a bit more of the area around the office.  It is simply gorgeous, acres of rolling fields full of trees, barns and beautiful homes.  I wish I'd taken my camera with me so I could share some images.  The weather has warmed up and the snow has mostly melted so I can start to imagine how beautiful everything will be this Spring when the leaves come out and the grass gets green.

Everyone I meet is polite and welcoming and they just seem to go that extra mile to make sure I feel welcome and have the things I need, whether I'm talking to someone in the office or at a store.

Every night during my commute this song has come on and several times its made me stop and think about the ways our lives can change in a moment.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Commuter

I'm at the end of my second full day in Lexington and I am loving it.  Work is an exciting challenge, the people are great and I'm excited to start exploring this great part of the country.  However, before I can do that, I need to find an apartment, which is my task for the long weekend.

As I drove to work this morning I realized how odd it felt to be a commuter and I realized it had been 10 years since I last made the daily drive for a job.  In Delhi we have a car and driver who gets us to work.  In Brazil I occasionally used taxis, but mostly caught a ride with my good friends L&M.  While I lived in Seattle I took the bus to work and when I lived in Salt Lake I lived across the street from work and walked.  Which means the only other time in my professional life that I've been an actual commuter was while I lived in Dallas. 

Lucky for me (and my rusty commuting skills) it only takes about 20 minutes to get to the office and since I'm headed against traffic there is little congestion.  Luckily 3 things here are making commuting fun - my cool Dodge Avenger rental car, the Sirius radio that was included with the car and the lovely GPS that Santa brought which keeps me from getting hopelessly lost.

I heard one of my favorite road trip songs in the car today, Tom Petty's "Free Falling."  This song and an open road is my ideal way to start a vacation.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Back on the Road

Image from Flicker: DMoutray's stream.

I'm finally hitting the road again.  I've LOVED being home over the holidays and spending time with my friends and family, but I'm also excited about my next adventure.  This time when I head to the airport I won't need my passport, instead I'll be on a domestic flight headed to Lexington, KY.

I spent a day in Lexington a couple of months ago, but other than that it will all be new to me, which is thrilling, I'm ready for a fun new change like this.  Once I find a place and get settled in (something I need to do quickly) I'm planning to spend my free time exploring not only Lexington and Kentucky, but some of the surrounding states.  So if you have any tips for that part of the country please send them my way.

I'm planning to be in Lexington for a couple months this visit before I head back to Delhi, but will be back several times this year.

To get me in the mood I did a little research on the local music scene - turns out an old favorite, My Morning Jacket is from Louisville, KY, here is their "I'm Amazed."

For those of you who shared your 2009 favorite songs with me, I've decided you are all winners, the mixes are the way.  Thanks for sharing, you've given me some fun new songs to check out. Pin It

I Laugh til I Cried

I  feel better about being a single, Mormon woman if it means I have something in common with this hilarious, talented and beautiful woman.  My goal this weekend, find a copy of her book.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How did I get so OLD?

Like all of you, I've found myself reading many "best of" lists over the past few weeks.  This weekend I was reading Entertainment Weekly's 2009 Best & Worst issue and one list in particular left me feeling very old and out of touch.  Their picks for The Best Singles of the Year include:

  • Jay-Z and Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind"
  • Lady Gaga "Paparazzi"
  • Phoenix "Lisztomania"
  • Keri Hilson feat Kanya West & Ne-Yo "Knock You Down"
  • Grizzly Bear "Two Weeks"
  • Gossip "Heavy Cross"
  • Green Day "21 Guns"
  • Noisettes "Never Forget You"
  • Mile Cyrus "Party in the USA"
  • Dirty Projectors "Stillness is the Move"
As I read through the list I realized that, while I recognized all of the artists (except Dirty Projectors) the only songs I actually remember hearing were "21 Guns" and "Party in the USA."  Since then I've spent several days feeling old and out of touch.

I've finally decided to blame my lack of knowledge on the fact that I don't listen to the radio anymore and that my taste in music is just a bit outside mainstream pop.  Have I rationalized enough so that I can still consider myself "cool" when it comes to music?

To try and prove my "coolness" here are some of my picks for the top songs of the year (in no particular order):
What were your favorite songs this year?

And because I really do want to know, I've decided to provide a little incentive to get you to comment.  I'm going to give away a mix of my favorite songs to one of you, so leave a comment with you favorite song(s) before Thursday at mid-night and you could be the proud owner of my Best of Mix.
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Staying Warm

My dog, Sadie, came to us from Arizona; which may explain her strange relationship with Utah winters.  She loves playing in the snow, but she hates being cold.  One day over the Christmas holidays we found her on the dog bed, next to a space heater, cuddled up under her blanket.  I have no idea how she managed to get under the blanket like this on her own.

One of my favorite artists this year has been Missy Higgins.  Her beautiful voice seems to be a perfect accompaniment to so many of my days.  Here is her gorgeous, "Warm Whispers."

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Monday, January 4, 2010

What I'm Watching: Friday Night Lights

In addition to spending time with friends and family over the holidays I finally gave into my sister's pleas and started watching, "Friday Night Light."  Just as N said I would, I fell in love with this amazing show show.

With every episode I fell a bit more in love with the characters, the superb acting and the flawless writing, I soon found myself devouring the past three seasons and dying to watch the episode from this season that will begin airing soon.  And I swear, only a small percentage of my love of the show is due to the hotness of the actor who plays Tim Riggins.

If you haven't discovered this gem yet, I strongly urge you to Netflix the first season - and when you do, drop me a line, I'd love to have someone else to discuss it with.

This clip comes from a moment in the show blew me away and ensured the show would have a place in my all-time favorites list for a long, long time to come.  To set up the clip - here is a write up from Give Me My Remote:

A little background for those of you who don’t watch the show, but are considering it. Tyra Collete, the narrator, has had a tough life. She’s a beautiful girl who until about two years ago thought that her looks were her only ticket to something more. Her well meaning mother never gave her daughter hope she could be more than she was. Her sister, a stripper, represented everything Tyra didn’t want out of life. But then she had people come into her life that believed in her and she started to believe in herself. Tyra’s past mistakes put college at arms length. She was determined to make it happen despite the odds. Everything was riding on the all important college essay. After many failed attempts, her best friend Landry urged to dig deeper and speak from the heart…this was the result.

And, by the way, not only is it a great show, the music coordinator is a genius, here are two songs I loved before, but I love even more now after hearing them used in FNL, Bright Eye's "Devil Town" and The Avett Brothers, "If its the Beaches."

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010

Thanks to a well timed vacation this week I feel like I'm entering 2010 as prepared as I can be.  In the past couple of days I've managed to tick off a few items that have been on my to do list for months (if not years!)

  • My office is cleaned out and ready to be painted and have new flooring laid when it gets a bit warmer.  
  • My basement is cleaned and organized, including those boxes that haven't been opened since I moved nearly four years ago.  
  • All the art work and pictures I've had sitting around the house are either in new frames and hung or at the frame shop waiting to be finished.  
  • My closet has been cleaned out and all the clothes that are worn out or don't fit are gone.  
  • I dropped off the stuff I was getting rid of to the DI (Goodwill) so it is officially out of my house.  
I love knowing that I'm kicking the year off with less clutter in my house, taking care of the "out with the old" part of a new year.

For the "in with the new," I've spent a lot of time this past week thinking about resolutions (don't we all.)  I realized that last year I set one very simple goal, drink at least 2 liters of water a day, and for the first time in forever I managed to keep a resolution (not perfectly, but still a success.)

I think this year I'll keep it simple again - just one resolution - exercise 3-4 times a week.  I know it will help with my stress levels and will make sleeping a bit easier on me.   It isn't original, but it is the thing I most need to add to my life right now.

I'm going to kick the New Year off right with a little something from my favorite band of all time, U2 and "New Year's Day."

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