Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happiness is a Roasted Beet

The month of April has flown by with all kinds of birthday festivities, all of which included amazing eating, some of it local and some of it in faraway places. And I've been reminded once again that sometimes, the best meal of the vacation is the one you make on the night you get back. And the night after that, even.

Most recently, we just got back from the Oregon coast and it was wondrous, gorgeous, perfect in every way. We ate the freshest seafood every single day, usually several times a day. But after a few days, I was sick to death of eating out. It wasn't as if we didn't have a kitchen in which to cook, it's just that we weren't as prepared as we'd like to be, so we went with the flow and ate out in some really good restaurants. But still, by the end of the trip, as much as I was loving the fish and the beer and the wine, damn if I wasn't dreaming of vegetables.

And so after a twelve hour day yesterday that included ten hours of driving, we couldn't help but stop at the market on the way home and pick up some fresh spinach and feta to make what ended up being the most delicious spinach salad ever. And tonight's dinner included another spinach salad but this time topped with roasted beets, courtesy of our dear friend Lucio who'd left them here in our fridge. I was so struck by the color of the beets after roasting, I had to share.

Oh, but there is so much more to catch up on! And catch up, we will, but for now, I'm headed to sleep with visions of beets and broccoli dancing in my head. More to come just as soon as I'm able to catch my breath!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Best Friends Forever!

Is there no end to my obsession with writing songs about dogs? I never even knew I had that obsession until I started this project!

Today's song was inspired by the true love story of Tara and Bella - an elephant and a dog. Do yourself a favor and watch this little clip; it'll warm the bitterest of hearts!

Upon learning about these two magnificent creatures and their sweetest, most wonderful friendship, I got in touch with my inner Madonna and wrote this little bit:

<a href="">Tara and Bella by Val Esway</a>

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Couple More

The birthday week fun has begun! I was too busy being showered with flowers and wine and sushi yesterday to post a song. I know... my life is VERY HARD!

So today I'll post two. Actually one is a song and one is a very goofy spoken word piece. You may not like it, but I bet your dog would, if only (s)he could speak English!

Just a reminder that if you want to read the lyrics or find out more about the writing of the song, click on the song title.

<a href="">Failure Notification by Val Esway</a>

<a href="">If Dogs Ruled the World by Val Esway</a>

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Andiron Seaside Inn

A day sure can make a difference.

We woke up Saturday morning and packed an overnight bag, piled the dogs into the wagon, and headed to Mendocino to stay overnight at the Andiron Seaside Inn. Highly recommended if you find yourself traveling up that way! In fact, even if you didn't think you'd be finding yourself up that way, do yourself a favor and plan a trip!

The owners, Scott and Madeline are two of the kindest people you could ever meet. I'd met them years ago when I was a bartender at Lanesplitter. Not only were they two of my favorite customers, but they are also responsible for making the Lanesplitter Action Figures, including mine! They bought this place a year or two ago and have renovated it in the coolest vintage style, with each room unique. Our room was furnished with vintage barber chairs and art-deco lighting. We really appreciated the extra friendly touches, like dog towels and biscuits for Spider & Bloom!

(The reason you see only one biscuit there is because Bloom devoured his immediately, before I could get a photo. That blur of grey you see in the bottom right hand corner is Spider's snout, attempting to make her way directly so that she could devour hers too!)

And if that wasn't nice enough, we were also greeted with a little something to help me kick off my birthday week!

The Andiron was such a sweet and cozy place that we almost didn't want to leave it! But we had to get out and take in some of that gorgeous coastline. And so after Happy Hour at the Andiron, we managed to get to the bar at the Little River Inn just in time to enjoy a delicious dinner and a fine sunset.

As if all of this wasn't enough, we also managed to pack in some thrift shopping and several brewery visits. How can you see the largest pepper grinder you've ever seen in your life, for only one mere dollar, and NOT buy it?? After all, we do love black pepper around here. A lot!

By the time we arrived home on Sunday evening, I felt rested, refreshed and renewed, and very thankful for all of it!

But now, now it's Monday, and if it seemed like I was getting a little too perky and optimistic, here's a little something for balance. It's called (A by no means complete) List of Things that Could Go Wrong. A fitting song for a Monday. Enjoy!

<a href="">List of Things That Could Go Wrong by Val Esway</a>

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Song of the Day

Just back from a wonderful day and night in Mendocino. What a difference a day makes! More to come, including pics! But for now, I couldn't let the day get away without posting today's song. Just a reminder that you can click on the song title in order to find out more info. about the song, and to read the lyrics.

<a href="">Truth Teller by Val Esway</a>

Saturday, April 03, 2010

A Song and a Getaway

Yes, I'm liking this month a lot already!

Soon we'll be headed out the door to go and hang out here. It's probably going to rain all weekend but it will be beautiful nonetheless.

Before I go, here's a little something for you to listen to:

<a href="">Montecito Avenue by Val Esway</a>

Friday, April 02, 2010

Dog Love...

... is the song of the day. It's a good kind of love. I can't promise it's a good kind of song, but here it is, for better or for worse.

<a href="">Dog Love by Val Esway</a>

To learn more about the writing of the song, and to read the lyrics, click on the title of the song.

Thanks for listening!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Lend Me Your Ears and I'll Sing You a Song...

... but I can't promise it'll be perfectly in key, as this month, it's all about demos!

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, then surely you've gathered a little about my recent creative frustrations. What follows is my attempt to break through that and hopefully move forward by spending a little time revisiting the past.

Welcome to A Song A Day in April, wherein I sift through and dust off old songs, new songs, and demos that have never seen the light of day (and perhaps, a few that never were *meant* to see the light of day!).

I'll mostly be posting previously unreleased demos, most of them largely unedited, many recorded moments after I wrote them, or even AS I was writing them, thanks to my participation in the Immersion Composition Society.

In some of my previous years of living, I've begun each year by writing one song each day for as long as I could manage to keep it going. But at this particular point in my life, I'm doing a lot of looking back.

April is the month of my birth, and possibly it’s purely coincidental that I'm turning 41 this month and so, perhaps, you could call this a part of my mid-life crisis, who knows? I've been feeling pretty creatively blocked over the last couple of years, and this project began in part because I was revisiting some of my orphaned songs in an attempt to get myself unstuck. In the process I realized that maybe I wasn’t stuck after all – maybe I was just working on finding my way.

Anyway, I discovered a few gems – and a few turds too – but mostly just had a great time revisiting the orphans! Some of them I may never want to revisit again, others may find their way into my live performances. For now, I'm just having fun digging through the old stuff, taking stock and working on finding a place from which to spring forward. I'm hoping that perhaps there are a few people out there who might appreciate this process and want to listen in.

Not sure where we're going to end up, but am looking forward to the journey, and would be delighted to have you riding shotgun with me.

And with that, here is today's song:

<a href="">Mid-life Crisis by Val Esway</a>