Thursday, March 31, 2011

Watch out DeMo...he's coming!

I got some of THE BEST news this week - hubs and I's absolute favorite musician is coming back for a show in Des Moines in April.  That's right - Dick Prall and his band are back.  If you don't have plans April 23rd, you should be in the East Village at Club 504.  Heck, if you do have plans, change them! 

If you haven't heard of Dick Prall, that's a downright shame, but have no fear for I am here to educate you!  He once told me "I'm too pop for Indie, and too Indie for pop."  And he's right (duh...).  There's no label you can put on his sound, but it's infectious in the best possible sense of the word.  His music is what you turn on when you've hit the first 60 degree day of the season, you've slid back the sun roof and rolled down the windows.  You want to blare it from the speakers and sing along at the top of your lungs while the people at the stoplight next to you wonder what the hell you're bopping your head to. 

But, even more than that, you will love the lyrics.  They aren't nonsensical ramblings just designed to fit the beat (which is what hooked hubs).  Every word can mean something.  You might not take out of it what he wrote it to be, but that's the amazing part.  I hate being told what the song is actually written about.  I want to listen to it, absorb it, and make it my own.  Whether it's a more pop-sounding "Barely Moving" or the romantic "Honore" - the lyrics are always something that if you wanted to , you could really dig into and think about. 

I've thrown a few videos in below - one from the year we had Dick play solo in our backyard at our annual Memorial party and another from a recent impromptu show in a Des Moines local's basement (which hubs and I missed - I'm still kicking myself for that one).  The first snippet of a song (Barely Moving) is a favorite of mine and the second (Little Holes) is from Dick's newest EP - Inc.  Do your diligence and check out his MySpace page and website to hear more.  I have all of his CDs and there's not one I don't love.  I hope I see you at the show!

Barely Moving

Little Holes

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where have I gone?

Lately I've been avoiding my own blog - weird, right?  For quite a few months, say November through till February, I really felt like I was making some progress.  I was making better choices, I was letting go of the crap I tend to hold to and I was really evaluating the things that made me happy and chucking the ones that didn't.  And then, for some reason I am still unable to fully put my finger on, it all went downhill. 

The best way to describe my random descension is to remember what it was like to try to go down a slide on the playground - when you were wearing shorts, it was super hot, and you stuck to the slide about every foot.  You'd be moving - so excited to be moving - and then all of the sudden you're totally irritated by the fact that you aren't.  You use your arms to force yourself forward.  You move.  You stop again.  That's totally where I'm at.

I've fallen back in to my "checklist" trap.  I keep evaluating my current predicament and saying to myself, "What can I change?  What am I doing wrong? What thing about me can I change that would give me that joy back?"  I push myself another few inches only to stop short again.

I thought choosing to practice my yoga every day for lent would be a good start - it would show my commitment to my new faith, and it would  give me that post-flow high every day, bringing me back to center and reminding me of all of the amazing changes my body and mind are going through.  What actually has happened is that now getting on the mat is a chore every day.   And when I am on the mat, or in class, I'm not relaxed, I'm not accepting the postures and I am surely not accepting myself in them.  I've regressed people - and I don't like it.

It's odd, but I kind of think part of my fall has been how much my social life has picked up.  Don't get  me wrong - I LOVE my friends.  I love our chats, dinner, drinks and fun - heck, I need that part of my life to stay sane.  But, I have quite a few different groups of friends and by the time I get everyone on the calendar, my calendar is a disaster.  It seems like every night of the week I either have a yoga class or a "date" of some sort and I am not getting any "me" time.  So, I'm going to attempt a pseudo-social hiatus.  I won't say no to invitations, but I'm not going to seek out more to do in April.  I'm hoping that a few nights at home, maybe a trip back into Season Four of Dawson's Creek where I left off, and some chill time will get my head back to rights.

Got to fight the good fight after all. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

What does everybody need?

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about friends - in general, the ones I have now, the ones I don't, and most importantly, the evolution of all of those relationships.  It's been a sad fascinating thing to realize how my friendships changed from high school to college to the "real world."  And from the conversations I've been having lately with my current pals, what I've been experiencing really is a typical trend.  Let's examine the evidence...

The high school friend
There's a good chance you've had this friend much longer than high school - this is the person that remembers when "the popular boy" at school made you cry, they picked you up off the bottom of your locker the first time your heart got broken and they were there to jump and squeal (if you're a girl) when your parents finally caved and let you get a car.  If you're me, which clearly I am, this person also still knows me better than anyone could.  Even though she lives a bazillion miles away and I talk to her like three times a year, I know that if I ever, EVER, need anything, we will just pick right up where we left off.  It doesn't matter that we basically only have a Facebook status holding together our day-to-day knowledge, she gets me.  I also am blessed to have a second great friend from high school that I get super-excited to see every time I visit the 'rents.  I know that most people aren't lucky enough to still have this though, so it's likely that your high school friends are people you kept in touch with in college - mostly via Christmas/Spring break parties when you were avoiding your parents - and then lost touch with outside of Facebook when you hit true adulthood. 

The college friend(s)
Ohhhh the college friends.  Now these people know you, but they know the absolute crazy side of you.  They have blurred memories of your too many to count drunk nights together, they know the secrets you pray they don't remember and they may or may not have been there when you made that life path decision that really changed everything.  Your college friends are likely what I consider my high school friends to be - your hands down best friends.  So many people I know today are still in touch with their best college friends and hold those people to be the most sacred - though unless you've stayed in the same few states vicinity, it's really getting hard to keep up with them.  I do have a few really crucial college friends that I am lucky enough to say are still a part of my life.  Some of them more than others, but the ones that really matter are still here!

The work friends
This is always a really interesting cluster of friends.  Sometimes, your friendship never leaves your cube/cafeteria at the office. Sometimes, you are lucky like I have been, and moved those friendships past 8-5 and have even pulled your significant others into the mix.  These people know a lot of the inner workings of your life, because hell, you spend more time awake with them than anyone else in your life!  This can be a scary cluster of friends though because you really have to be careful who you trust and who you let in, but once you're sure, nothing is better than a conspiratory smile as you pass by each other in the kitchen because you know what happened last weekend.

The friend of a friend
This has always been one of my favorite categories because some of the most fantastic friends I've made have come to me this way.  This person was someone else's high school/college/work friend and you were in the right place at the right time and found yourself a new soul mate friend.  For humor value, most of my "friend of a friend" friends and I are no longer friends with the people who introduced us!

I think the hardest thing we deal with though, as we progress through all of these people, is realizing when the time is to keep them, when the time is to let them go and that you don't always get to have a "best friend" in the high school/college sense of the words.  There are people who came in to your life that you're probably glad are gone, those who you really wish had never left, and then those that are here and maybe you aren't quite sure what to do with them.

Recently, I've been really trying to look at all of these people and remember what they taught me, because I can promise you that I learned something from each and every one of them.  They may have taught me about the person I wished I was, the person I'm glad I'm not or even just that taking the time to envy someone else's life is just not worth it - if their life looks that great then they are just really good at hiding the crap they're dealing with.   Every now and then, I also have to believe I've taught them a thing or two along the way.

I hope reading this brought thoughts of people past and present to mind that you haven't thought of in a while.  Enjoy the memories kids.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

40 days and 40 nights

Today marks my first observed lent.  A big part of my "Making the most of it" journey has been finding my faith and recognizing life for what it is - a daily gift filled with many blessings to go along with its many struggles.  I had always felt like something was missing from life, and the influence that realizing I needed this faith as a part of my every day was really a life-changing experience for me. Not in the "Hallelujah - I'm saved!" kind of way, but in the, "I really can handle this life - insert a very content sigh here" kind of way.

Back to lent...I've been struggling with my decision of what to give up for days.  What is "enough"? What is just silly?  What will I actually commit to??  UGH.  Where have I landed you ask? A daily yoga practice of at least 45 minutes.  As I took an objective look at how I'm living today, I realized that there really isn't anything I do in excess that would be a real "sacrifice" to give up.  I only drink alcohol on weekends (generally), I don't drink pop much ever, I really don't eat many sweets and I even have curbed my swearing considerably (from my informal facebook poll, these are the status quo during lent).  So, this led me to adding something to my life that would still require the one sacrifice I loathe making - giving up sleep - which I am going to have to do in order to practice every day.

The hubs did a great job of laying it out for me last night - "When you absolutely want nothing to do with getting up in the morning, and you remember why it is you made this commitment and get up anyway, that's what lent is about."  Forty days is a long time, but I think I can do it. What about you all - what are you giving up from/adding to your life this lent?  

P.S. Just for fun - here's an image I found via Google when I did a search of "what to give up for lent" - too funny!

Friday, March 4, 2011

I'm a know what I mean...

And I took my little turn on the catwalk!

Limited space = two of the same pose. 

Well, not quite, it was more like a turn in front of white butcher paper in the Raygun store - but it was a ton of fun all the same!  I worked with John, who was a super fun guy, and spent about 35 minutes "modeling" 9 different Raygun T-shirts (If you've never seen these - seriously, go to - you will end up wanting to buy many of them).

It was a tad awkward, because I ran out of interesting poses after about the third shirt, and I needed to stay essentially in one spot, and make sure you could still sort of read the shirt, so I was a bit limited in my motions.  Or so I thought!  After seeing Raygun's facebook page, I realized it didn't really matter what I did, it was more about having fun.  Hopefully, some day in the future I can convince them to let back in there again, and perhaps I'll have a drink or two beforehand  :) 

I never actually listed "modeling" on my bucket list, but being the ham that I am, there is nothing in the world I love more than having my picture taken.

Score one for making the most of it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I need some inspiration

So, I'm 28.   I'll be 29 in July.  This means that I am approaching 30, and shockingly enough, could care less.  I am not one of those people that looks at that number like this giant, looming deadline of all of the fun and cool things I should have done by now.  But, it does remind me that I have been in the working world for six years now and I STILL don't know what I'm meant to do.

Now, don't misunderstand, I like my current job - I believe I do a pretty freaking good job at it too (we shall see what my upcoming performance appraisal thinks about my assumption soon...).  But, is it really what I was meant to do?

I know all of these people, that in the last year, have quit the jobs they had (hated or not), took the leap and opened their own businesses, or went back to school to work toward their calling.  I. AM. SO. JEALOUS.  But, in all of my self-awareness, I realize that I have literally no clue what my calling actually is.  That realization makes me so sad. I feel like I am floundering around, while some big dream escapes my grasp because I just haven't figured out what the heck it is.

I have to believe this is a common occurrence.  Our society sets us up to work tirelessly at whatever job will pay the bills, fulfilling or not, so that we can make the almighty dollar and keep up with whomever we're comparing our sorry existence to today.  (And it's not like we ever compare our lives to someone's whose is worse...come on now...) 

I get that.  I get all the stupid reasons we do the stupid things we do as humans.  But, I do really feel like each of us has a calling.  That you have some particular reason you were put on this earth, born to those parents, are friends with those get the idea.

What do you think? Are in the rut? Did you find your passion? Give me your story - I need some inspiration here people.