Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hidden Treasures

Ah, Spring! It seems to have finally sprung.

Yesterday was the day I'd been waiting for since pretty much the beginning of winter. It was the day we'd finally clear out our jungle and prepare to turn it into a garden!

Of course, this would be no small task, and I've got the aching muscles today to prove it, even though the mister did a lot more of the heavy duty hard work than I did.

Little by little, we hacked at, whacked at, and ripped those stubborn weeds out of the ground. And somewhere underneath one of those sections of jungle, it was such a thrill to discover a little carrot patch that had just been sitting there for months and months, doing its own thing, minding its own business, not seeming to mind our months and months of neglect. Nature is pretty darn cool that way.

We didn't quite get to the actual planting of the garden yet, but that will happen soon. We still have to till the soil and get the plants. But for now, I'm quite pleased with the results of the day's work, and looking forward to enjoying the fruits (and vegetables!) of our labors!

It's nice, in so many ways, to have a clean slate from which to spring forward, and I sure am ready for it.

Monday, March 22, 2010


...that's how I felt on Sunday when I finally wrote a song that I didn't want to throw into the toilet. The irony is that I was on the verge of giving up. In fact, I had given up. I had spent a good many hours that day procrastinating. But I had also spent a good many hours that day attempting to work on one very specific concept for a song.

Over and over I strummed, I picked, I wrote, I re-wrote, I sang, I hummed, I hacked, I thrashed and I sighed heavily. Because no matter what I did or how I did it, I just wasn't feeling it. Not one tiny bit.

And finally, after many hours like this, I just said screw it, I'm done with this. And for some inexplicable reason I picked up the guitar and a bunch of words came to me...words about giving up and not giving a shit that you're giving up and not giving a shit whether anyone cares that you're giving up, and feeling somehow completely liberated, feeling like you're finally seeing the light that you couldn't see because you were too busy obsessing over sticking with the thing you were trying to do in the first place, the thing that wasn't working anyway. And a melody came along with it, and a little teeny hook, and about ten minutes later, there was a song. A song that I didn't feel the need to flush down the toilet. A song that I never planned for or expected to harvest from the depths of my admittedly neurotic soul.

And suddenly I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be, doing exactly what I needed to be doing, and it was such a wonderful, perfect feeling, the likes of which I haven't felt in far too long. I wanted to jump up and down, do a little jig, alert the media. Who knew that my creative block and complete and utter panic over it would be the very thing that would finally inspire me move through said block?

Is the song the best thing I've ever written? Probably not, not even by a long shot. But it showed me something that I needed to see, inspired me to feel something that I needed to feel. It reaffirmed my belief (the one that was starting to wane) that if I just show up and do the work, the music will eventually come, and for that, I am so grateful. Please feel free to remind me of that the next time I start whining and ranting, won't you?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bachelor Dinner

The other day I was out with my honey and a friend of ours, and the topic of bachelor dinners came up. That's the generic term I use for when you're flying solo for dinner, which hardly ever happens to me anymore. My honey and I, we eat dinner together almost every night. We like it. It's nice, and it works well for us. It works especially well for me because first, I'm a control freak and like to be in charge of what we're eating most nights, and second, since most of the time I do the cooking, that means I hardly ever have to do the dishes! So for these reasons, and also because I love to cook, most of the time we eat at home, together. And if on a certain night we find ourselves feeling unmotivated or just plain out of stuff to cook, we just go out and grab something, and more often than not that something ends up being tacos or a burrito, or sometimes pizza.

But back in the olden days, I almost always kept a frozen pizza in the freezer, a box of mac & cheese in the cupboard, and microwave popcorn for when I couldn't even be bothered to turn on the oven or boil water. Or sometimes I just ate oatmeal, or bread and cheese. I must admit that occasionally, I kind of miss those days. Don't get me wrong - I was endlessly lonely and some might even say bitter! I wouldn't trade what I've got now for anything, especially not those days! But sometimes I miss flying solo, just going with the impulse to do whatever I feel inspired to do in the moment without giving any thought to what anyone else might want or need. Earlier this week, I had of one of those nights. I got home from a long day at work followed by an intense yoga class that made me feel like my legs were going to separate from my body. Alas, there was no mac & cheese or frozen pizza to be found and I just didn't have the energy to leave the house again. But there was a can of black beans which soon became refried beans, and corn tortillas in the freezer, and zucchini in the fridge that took me as long to steam as it took to defrost a tortilla in the toaster oven, open the beans and throw them in the pan with some shallots, garlic and spices, and soon enough, there were tacos. Within about ten minutes I had a bachelor dinner that was significantly better than the mac & cheese or frozen pizza would have been anyway!

But guess what? I'm on my own this weekend while my rock star boyfriend jets off to play music in NYC. Me, I'm planning to lock myself in the house for most of the weekend and try to write as much music as possible in the hopes of finally breaking through the longest period of writer's block I've ever experienced. And just in case I get hungry and don't feel like cooking, yesterday I bought a frozen pizza, and I'm not ashamed to say that I can't wait to pop that baby in the oven, and maybe even eat it standing up!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Getting Unstuck

Last Saturday I attempted once again to write and record songs from 8 am until 7 pm. This time I came up with 7 "pieces", none of which turned out to be keepers, but I'm encouraged that I was able to come up with anything at all. I didn't feel *quite* as manic and neurotic and hopeless as I'd felt during the previous session, and that in and of itself is progress! Now might be a good time for me to re-read the most excellent book Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott - highly recommended if you haven't read it. Hell, maybe it'll even get me unstuck in the blogging department too, you never know!