Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The program is with Positive Detroit and Operation: Kid Equip, a metro Detroit organization looking to help provide 25% of Oakland County Schools with dictionaries for third graders.
With the assistance of Operation: Kid Equip and its participation with The Dictionary Project, we will work to distribute dictionaries specifically written for third graders who are at the dividing line between learning to read and reading to learn.
Erin Rose of Positive Detroit, Becks Davis of Detroit Moxie, Nikki Stephan of Creativity, Love, Happiness & All That Falls Between , Jennifer Wright of Looking Glass Lane are the other rockin' bloggers participating in this. The initiative is important to all of us because we want to help give the same opportunities to local students as we were given in our writing classes as children. And, we want to encourage local students to become better writers.
Through March 15, 2010, we're working to raise money to provide approx. 2,700 third graders in Oakland County with new dictionaries. To give you an idea of the impact you can make, for a $20 donation, you can supply at least 8 third graders with dictionaries.
Also, an anonymous donor has graciously offered to match donations, dictionary-for-dictionary, up to the first 100 dictionaries. Just think, your donation today can double the amount of children that are being served tomorrow!
Literacy and writing are two things I feel very passionate about when it comes to children. I vividly remember having a giant blue Webster dictionary on our bookshelf as a kid. I would often use it to play a game...I'd flip through the pages, land on one, stick my finger on a word and read about the word and its meaning. I learned something new every time I played! I plan to teach my children the same game with the hopes that one day, they too will understand the power of words.
Children are the key to our future -but how can they succeed without the ability to read and write? A dictionary is the perfect educational tool to start our children on a path toward success.
Here is how you can help the organization:
1. Click here to make a PayPal donation for $100, $50, $20 or $10
2. Mail a check to:
Operation: Kid Equip
PO Box 364
Royal Oak, MI 48068-0364
Be sure to write Dictionary Project in the memo line.
3. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make a credit card or other form of payment outside of PayPal.
4. If you would like to join the female bloggers collaboration, contact Erin Rose at email@example.com.
About Operation: Kid Equip
As an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit community benefit organization, we realize that to break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness, we have to meet some very basic, yet overlooked needs. Operation: Kid Equip acts as a conduit for collecting and distributing tangible educational and school supplies to school-aged children. Operation: Kid Equip effects long term improvement in the community by providing at-risk kids with the core necessities they need to prosper in school and in life. Visit our website at www.operationkidequip.org
About The Dictionary Project
The Dictionary Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The goal of this program is to assist all students in completing the school year as good writers, active readers and creative thinkers by providing students with their own personal dictionary. The dictionaries are a gift to each student to use at school and at home for years to come.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Smile #4: My husband has been a MAJOR helper these past couple of hectic weeks, even despite his own crazy work hours. On top of putting up Christmas lights without a single complaint (I know he hates it), he even did laundry. And folded it. Without me asking. Sounds silly, but it's those little things that remind me that my life would fall apart without him...(or I'd at least be out of underwear!)
Smile#5: I sang at an apartment complex for seniors with my choir last night. The acoustics at the place were horrible and I'm sure we didn't sound our best, but the seniors didn't care. In fact, they LOVED it. We sang carols at the end and I was amazed at how many of them knew all the words to the songs. After we were through performing, an older gentleman came up to me and said how much he loved our singing. After hearing his German accent, I asked what brought him here and he said he wanted to come to America since he was 6. After serving in WWII, he was finally able to come over and he explained how he has loved our country since.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Yes, this is a goddess.
But you won't.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Cheesy 90's music and beer in chilled glasses,
Bright flashy earrings and fun sassy rings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Cute chubby babies and orange colored kittens,
Chapstick and perfume and soft homemade mittens.
Playing trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Coming home to my humble abode
Beautiful sunsets to watch on our swing,
these are a few of my favorite things.
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad...
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I love Mitch's writing. In fact, I briefly wrote about him awhile back when I had the privilege of hearing him speak (he speaks just like he writes - very eloquently).
My love for him aside, I just knew this book would instantly be a new favorite of mine. I read a few reviews online before deciding to make the purchase. Of course, the fact that a chunk of the book takes place in Detroit was appealing to me, as I always feel the need to be a cheerleader for the city. But regardless of the local flavor, I was entranced.
If you aren't familiar, in the book Mitch tells the story of his interactions with two men of God - one being his childhood Rabbi and the other, a Pastor in Detroit. The two men don't share beliefs, backgrounds or skin color even, but they do share the one thing that often divides people: faith.
To shed light on these "Men of God" was what was so fascinating to me in this book - often people think of their pastor/reverend/priest/rabbi/spiritual leader as untouchable - maybe even perfect. This book proves that isn't the case at all. In fact, it shows they too can have doubts and fears, just like the rest of us.
The way Mitch interweaves both of these men's stories is amazing. I could go on and on with quotes and spoilers, but instead I've decided to leave you with a story I've heard before and was reminded of in the story. Read it and reflect.
The difference between heaven and hell
Heaven and hell are shown to a man. In hell, people sat around a banquet table, full of exquisite meats and delicacies. But their arms were locked in front of them, unable to partake for eternity.
"This is terrible," says the man. "Show me heaven now."
He was taken to another room, where things looked remarkably the same. Another banquet table, more of the same meats and delicacies. The souls there also had their arms in front of them. The difference was they were feeding each other.
I enjoy this story because it translates across all religious denominations and teaches us two lessons I believe we should think about each day: 1.) treat others how you want to be treated and 2.) you help yourself when you help others.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
There's just nothing sweeter than enjoying the beauty of nature, all the while being close to amenities!
This spot reminded me of a folk song I like called When Fall Comes to New England by Cheryl Wheeler. Even though I technically don't live in New England, the lyrics paint a picture of what's happening in Michigan, too. Listen to it, take a drive down a country road (or a walk in a city park) and take in the beauty that has been painted for all of us to enjoy.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
It all started when I was talking to my mom a few weeks ago and she mentioned she was organizing a trip to a gospel concert at Joe Louis with some of her church choir friends.
Knowing her choir is an older crowd of white folk, I was quick to say, "Hm...mom, I don't think you're really going to fit in there."
She was then quick to reply, "I don't care. I think it will be a great experience."
Curious, I agreed to go as well...after all, I've never heard gospel live and thought it might be a cool experience outside my typical musical box.
Wow, she was right...it was quite the experience. I had no expectations, but was pumped to see some of the region's best church choirs after reading up on them. The concert was part of the How Sweet The Sound gospel series, presented by Verizon, which seeks to find the "Best church choir in America."
Dang, these choirs have got to be good then, right? Ummm yeah! The word "good" doesn't even do the music I heard justice.
I am a fairly religious person, but spirituality aside, hearing these choirs raised the hairs on my arms and the giant sound produced was nothing short of AMAZING. The vocals, harmony and instrumentation were gorgeous...but more than anything, these people were singing with their hearts and it showed by hand motions and facial expressions. It touched me to see how passionate these people were about the music and about singing for the big man upstairs.
We all left the concert inspired and now I have a new appreciation for gospel music.
Check out the top two choirs from Detroit here. I enjoyed all of the choirs that performed, but I have to say that the Calvary Church was my favorite and the folks of Detroit agreed when they won the people's choice award. It's one thing to watch the video on here, but it was a whole different experience seeing it live.
If there's one thing "outside your box" you should do this year, it's to go see the finals of all the regions across the U.S. perform on Nov. 7 (in Detroit, woot woot!). Check out additional information and purchase tickets here.
Major props to Verizon for putting this together. I know a good event when I see one and this one was flawless and I am already looking forward to next year's show.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I've been thinking a lot lately. It started out with a conversation Jason and I had. We were walking and discussing what life will be like for our children one day. He reminisced about how growing up on a farm taught him the value of hard work and I talked about how my curiosity drove my mom berserk, but taught me a lot. I said "What am I going to say to our kids when they ask a question? To go get on the computer and Google it?"
Looking back, I appreciate my mom telling me to "go look up" the strange questions I would ask her. I'd go over to the bookcase, skim the sleeves until I found the letter of the subject I was curious about and read away. Not a glamorous task, but it helped me to learn. Now, the Internet is there for our children like that shelf filled with a dictionary and a set of Britannica's once was for me.
I always say how strange it is that my generation is the last one to not be completely reliant on technology. My family didn't have a computer until I was in the 5th grade. And even then, nobody was that interested in them until I entered high school and chat rooms got popular. Blackberrys were unheard of. Cell phones, for that matter, were unheard of. Video games, well Atari, was for only the cool kids. MTV and VH1 were barely in existence. The brand iPod could've been the dog's name in The Jetsons. Plasma screen, LCD, DVD, laptop, blogs and YouTube didn't mean jack.
After much reflection, I still can't decide if technology has been more of a blessing or a curse in my life. I've weighed some pros (roses) versus the cons (thorns) and am still at a loss. Here's a piece of my logic:
ON CONNECTING & LEARNING
Rose: Long lost family, friends and professional colleagues are able to reconnect easily thanks to Geni, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social web tools.
Thorn: Children can easily connect with bad, bad, dirty people.
Rose: I get to learn new information everyday and easily see updates and photos of friends', their husbands, their children and their adventures in general on social networking sites.
Thorn: There's so much great and interesting content online that it makes for an annoying distraction at times (really, is it a need to check Facebook again?)
Rose: Everyone is their own doctor thanks to WebMD.
Thorn: I've been known to diagnose my own health issues...and have scared myself to death (thankfully most of my diagnoses were wrong).
Rose: We are able to delay death by diagnosing and treating major health issues by using advanced medical technology. Apple even has an iPhone app to check blood pressure for goodness sake.
Thorn: Knowing about these major issues can cause major stress in our lives. In fact, sometimes I wish we could go back to the caveman days when ignorance was bliss.
Rose: Being out of the office is possible during the day thanks to cell phones, smart phones, Wi-Fi and remote email access.
Thorn: Friday used to be the end of the work week. Now it doesn't ever really end.
Rose: Email makes things more efficient in the office.
Thorn: Email makes it easy to not have to pick up the phone to talk with colleagues across the office. I could use the human interaction sometimes....and exercise for that matter.
Would I change progression? Absolutely not. I couldn't live without most of it. But much like my parents like to tell me about how they walked to school up hill both ways, I'll be damned if I don't rant to my kids about the good 'ol days of BG: before Google.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
From www.benjerry.com/hubbyhubby: In partnership with Freedom to Marry we are gathered here to celebrate Vermont and all the other great states where loving couples of all kinds are free to marry legally. We have ceremoniously dubbed our iconic flavor, Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby in support, and to raise awareness of the importance of marriage equality.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
As an adult, I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to have a life-threatening medical condition.
For a child, having such a medical condition could mean the robbery of adolescence; the loss of blissful ignorance, days spent outside and birthday party sleepovers. To many, sick children are beyond comprehension and may raise the questions, "Why do children get sick?" and "Why do children have to die?"
As of today, I'm a true believer these kids are put here for a reason: to show us lucky ones how to live.
This afternoon I had the privilege of working with a client to host a fun competition with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northwest Ohio. Honestly, I was worried as I walked out of the office...I'm an overly-emotional person when it comes to seeing people (esp. kids or animals) suffer and wasn't sure if I could handle seeing sick kids. I envisioned the children showing up covered in bandages from being pricked with needles that morning or maybe even hooked to some type of medical machine. Thankfully, I was wrong.
The children arrived ecstatic; ready to show-off, ready to win the gold medal up for grabs, ready to have fun. Despite the friendly competition, the kids high-fived, helped each other out and laughed together. Always having a knack for relating to kids, they made me laugh too, and I had a blast walking around talking to each of them about their creations.
Seeing the "Wish Kids" have so much fun despite whatever might be happening in their medical lives, inspired me. Who am I to complain about life? I should feel fortunate to be healthy.
Of course seeing the kids all walk away with giant grins on their faces was a major highlight of my day. But, what was almost just as good was seeing the goofy, child-like grins on all the faces of the adults in the room.
I think all of us "older kids" walked away with a new appreciation for life. After all, why worry about what tomorrow holds when we could be laughing and living today?
Thanks for the reminder, kids.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Boy am I glad we did decide to make our own Michigan adventure...We began our trip bright and early on Thursday and traveled through Grayling, where we stopped at a place I had discovered during some online research - Dawson & Stevens classic 50's diner. I'm a sucker for diners and 50's music and since this wasn't out of our way at all, we stopped for lunch (and a Boston Cooler). It was a lot of fun!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
One song that I kept in my head throughout the whole movie (so I could go home and download it) was "Keep Me in Your Heart for Awhile" by Warren Zevon. I liked it the instant I heard it playing in the movie.
Upon Googling a portion of the lyrics so I could figure out who sang the song, I came across the reason the song was written in the first place. Warren Zevon had been diagnosed with cancer before writing this song and knew he only had a short time to live, so this was written as a gift to his family. The lyrics are somewhat sad, but lead the listener to believe that regardless of his looming death, he's still in his family's heart as well as with the listener. When you watch the movie, you'll understand why this is so fitting.
For anyone who has dealt with the death of a close loved one, this song seems just as comforting as it is beautiful.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
New Shoes - Paolo Nutini
Sunday, August 2, 2009
We were prompted to meet them by a friend we were with who had visited the quirky bar before and had one heck of an experience.
So, looking for adventure, we entered the shady spot next to Saint Andrews and had a drink. I had a cranberry and vodka (3/4 vodka and 1/4 cranberry I might add), poured by Sophia who maneuvered slowly with the bottle of Ocean Spray. Apparently most folks just drink beer when they visit...and after I ordered it I felt slightly guilty for asking her to make it. Jason commented how she looked like a ghost walking around the dimly lit bar. She was wearing a flowery housecoat and she smiled when she handed me the drink. She had a thick accent, so I asked her where she was from. "Greece," she answered.
While we enjoyed our drinks, we all looked around in amazement, gawking at the bazillion oddities that lined the bright blue and green bar, from a giant plastic swan and punk rock band stickers to several old non-working beer clocks and a collection of lunchboxes from the 70's. A few Tigers fans were clumped together at the end of the bar, otherwise the bar would have been ours. Blues music from the "Greektown Blues Man" blared behind us and we giggled as he sang his own versions of songs we love.
As we looked around in wonderment, Steve entered. We had guessed he may have been napping because he looked slightly disheveled. He was wearing drawstring pants, up way past his belly button. He walked away for a moment and came back with a tie on, instantly giving us the vibe that he put it on just for us -- clearly the newbies at the bar.
He shook our hands, introduced himself, asked us if this was our first time visiting, poured more drinks and began talking to us about his life -- stories about the FBI and the Detroit riots, WWII and Vietnam and how he met his wife. We couldn't make out most of what he was saying (he has a very soft voice and a thick Greek accent), but were able to read his expressions well enough to see how happy he was that we were there -- so much so he gave us free shots of Peach Schnapps (apparently a common practice of his). "Yamas!" we said ("cheers" in Greek).
I was profoundly touched by Steve and Sophia, who we learned came to Detroit from Greece in 1961 and have worked their 70-something (we're guessing) tails off ever since. Wanting to know more, I got home and Googled "Steve's Place + Detroit" to see if there has been any stories written about this diamond in the rough and came across a great story from the Metro Times from 2002. (The photo of Steve that accompanied the story is below.)
I learned some interesting facts from the story:
- Steve and Sophia have run the bar for the past 39 years. The bar is open from 10 a.m. - 2 a.m. everyday except Christmas. Steve and Sophia live in a flat above the bar.
- Steve was raised in Greece and lived through the German occupation during World War II. He says his father died from an injury suffered in World War I.
- Steve doesn’t know his age because he doesn't have a birth certificate.
The last lines in the article sum up Steve's Place perfectly:
"There’s a real dying-on-the-vine beauty to the bar. It’s unaffected by pretense and trend. Steve’s Place stands alone, traditional and ghostlike, quiet and almost heavenly."It's weird the lessons you can learn from people in an hour-long encounter. We walked away dumbfounded, yet smiling about the odd experience we had shared at Steve's Place.
If you're ever in the area, stop by and say hello to Steve and Sophia. You'll not only walk away with a new appreciation for life and the value of hard work, but you'll have gained two new and interesting friends.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The video then begins to highlight the city in present day, showing Em walking through abandoned buildings (Michigan Central Station and the former Packard plant) and later shows footage of old Tiger Stadium being demolished.
The images that haunt me the most during the video though are the people profiled - just the "average joe's" / scenery that make up Detroit - autoworkers leaving work, boys playing basketball on the street, a youth baseball team, burnt out crack houses. The American flag flies high in a dark sky during a scene, symbolizing to me that life does exist in the city that America seems to have forgotten about.
Although I believe Em wrote many of the lyrics to help ease the pain of overcoming addiction, I also think he had Detroit on his mind while in rehab. Much like the process of overcoming addiction, Detroit has a long way to go to again become the city it once was. Those of us that live here cannot apologize for our city. Just like an addiction, it takes time and love to heal and repair the damage. There's no reason to feel sorry for our city. She is who she is and is beautiful in her own way. It's just up to the viewer to choose to see the beauty among the harsh realities seen on the surface.
They can all get f*cked, just say true to you."
Sunday, June 28, 2009
My mother-in-law introduced me to the song and it has just been the absolute perfect summer jam and a great way to escape the curve balls life has thrown me as of late. I am looking forward to playing it many, many times as I venture up north this coming week....
Sunday, June 14, 2009
- Everything, Michael Buble
When Jason and I got married - one year ago today - this was the song we had our first dance to, so now every time I hear it, it makes my heart happy.
I looked back through all of our wedding pictures and through the masses of cards we received today. I wanted to write a post about what I have learned during this first year, but I think the message in a card Jason's cousin gave us sums up what our marriage is and continues to aspire to be...I wanted to keep it electronically so we can continue to reflect on its meaning.
How to make a beautiful life together
Let love be your shelter.
The world is noisy and confusing at times, so make a home that is a haven, a peaceful place where you can listen to your hearts and savor the comfortable closeness you share.
No matter how busy your days may be, make time for yourselves.
Surprise each other.
Find little chances every day to show you're grateful to be partners, to be friends, to be married.
Life is not perfect.
You will make mistakes, but each time you meet life's challenges together, you will grow wiser, stronger, and surer of your love.
Cherish your yesterdays.
They are irreplaceable souvenirs of your journey through life.
Make memories that will bring smiles and sighs whenever you look back. (Look back often!)
Look forward, too.
Make promises to keep.
Believe in your tomorrows because tomorrows are what forever is made of.
To make love last, put each other first.
That is the way to make a beautiful life together, the kind of life you both deserve so much.
I thank God everyday for allowing me to meet my soul mate. One year down, many decades ahead!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
To gear up for the Disney On Ice show I'll be working to promote in the fall, I've decided to list out my favorites and make a playlist to listen to whenever life has got me down. In no particular order, here's my faves:
I understand those who have their arms full utilizing the door opener. It's just truly bothersome to me when people use these doors for no reason. I feel blessed to not have to use that button. I have legs. I have arms and hands. I can open the door and perhaps even be courteous enough to hold the door for whomever is walking behind me.
I'm not asking for you to agree with my thoughts. I just want to say that people with disabilities have a hard enough time dealing with getting places. Think next time you're faced with an automatic button. Do you really need it? If not, please think twice and maybe even have a thought of thanks for being blessed enough to not have to use it.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I absolutely adore being married and couldn't ask for a better mate...but there is just something about dishing with a gf that just simply isn't the same with a male! (Jason, you know at the end of the day you have my heart!)
Hence, this week's song choice - "This one's for the girls" by Martina McBride. With the lyrics of that song dancing in my mind, here's my tribute to my life's leading ladies...
Thank you to all my girlfriends and all my amazing female family members. From my friends who I've grown-up with...to my college friends who always encourage me and share life's events with me. To all my other friends, whom I know from work, volunteering, church, through Jason, and several other places - thank you for enriching my life with your friendship.
Thank you to my mom, who is my best friend. Thanks for being so strong and teaching me to be the same way. For laughing and talking with me about every insignificant detail of my life...and for giving me a perspective I generally don't think about. And of course, thanks for loving me with your HUGE heart.
To all the ladies in my life: THANKS for everything!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The story indicates he has 2-4 weeks to live and that two weeks is up (and today is his 12th birthday). I've searched everywhere online and it appears that he is still hanging on. Won't you please just take a moment of your day to send him a card to brighten his day? He's such an inspiration...if only more people (ahem, adults) had the courage and passion for others like he has, the world would be a much better place.
Adrian, I'm praying for you. I recently sent you a few cards from my nephews and I...I hope they get to you soon! xoxo from Troy, Michigan.
By Stacey Tucker
“The cancer cells are increasing, the leukemia cells are increasing and his liver enzymes are increasing” Gerber said. “They’re giving him just two weeks, maybe a month to live.
“We’re hoping he makes it to his 12th birthday on the 21st of this month.”
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Regardless, I wanted to share this song as a Sunday Song...by two of my favorite artists across two different genre's - Kenny Chesney (looking forward to seeing him in August!) and Dave Matthews, one of my favorite singers EVER (have seen him in concert several times)!
I was so excited the first time I heard this song. I absolutely adore when singers team up across different genres; to me, it's like peace on earth. Some other faves that have collaborated on a song/album include: Jay-Z + Linkin Park (Collision Course album), Aerosmith + Run DMC (song - "Walk This Way) and Black Eyed Peas + Jack Johnson (song - "Gone").
With that said, this song is just beautiful and serves as a great reminder when things get tough, just remember you're still alive. And, go Kenny & Dave!!!
So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me I’d like to think my lucky stars that
I’m alive, and well
It’d be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you set and watch go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I’m alive
And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathing in and out is a blessing can’t you see
Today is the first day of the rest of my life
And I’m alive, and well
I’m alive, and well
Stars are dancin’ on the water here tonight
It’s good for the soul, and there’s not a soul in sight
But this motors caught its wind and brought me back to life
Now I’m alive, and well
And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathing in and out is a blessing can’t you see
Today is the first day of the rest of my life
Now I’m alive, and well
Yeah I’m alive, and well
Listen to the song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts-DCKDacEc
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Awesome video by Phredley, a Detroit-based band. I love this video highlighting the city.
Best of luck in your move to L.A. Phred! Don't forget your Detroit roots and be sure to come back and show some love to the city.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I noticed the sign a few days ago. It's attached to a chain link fence connected to an overpass heading north from Detroit.
I was stuck in traffic and chuckled when I saw the sign above me. I instantly imagined some crazy old man with wiry gray hair, dressed in a flannel pulling the sign out of a shopping cart and hanging it proudly on the fence.
I thought nothing of it afterward.
Today was a different story. It was a great day...but something just felt different. I was again stuck under it and got to thinking.
Maybe this was therapy for someone out there -- a way to tell the world, or at least hundreds of Detroit-area travelers, that they are not alone.
Maybe the person that hung the sign had a bad day, got laid off, found out a family member had cancer, went home to a deceased pet. Maybe they wanted to end their life, but realized that even though awful things were surrounding them, somewhere, someone was feeling the same way.
Thinking that way changed my perspective on the sign.
Everyone across the U.S.A. knows Michigan is struggling...even my grandma in Nebraska who doesn't even have cable worries about us.
But instead of paying attention to all of the doom and gloom portrayed in the media, how about we all collectively think positive for once? To all the amazing/talented/personable/wonderful Michiganders out there - this message is for you: You're not alone.
Whomever this sign-putter-upper is: THANKS. I only wish there were other folks out there sending us little reminders like this to let us know that we're not alone. We may be struggling, but we're in this together, Michigan. It's all of us, and Jesus too.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
This theme song from the movie 'Once' is simply gorgeous... and since I just watched the movie and can't get this song out of my head, I figured it would be an appropriate Sunday Song. The harmony is just gorgeous!
And, for the record, I just saw the movie cost $160,000. That's amazing these days! Give it a watch, if only for the awesome music.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Just another great Detroit-powered song by Channel 7 anchor Stephen Clark. Lovin' this song...hope it's on the radio someday!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The best movie I have seen in a very long time is "Young @ Heart," a documentary chronicling the lives of some very inspiring folks who have two things in common: their average age of 80 years old and their love for music.
Thanks to Netflix's recommendation (it must know my dorky obsession for human-interest documentaries for some reason...), I added this to the top of my list immediately upon reading the description.
The video above is a song by one of my favorite members of the chorus, Fred Kittle, a hilarious man who sang this beautiful rendition of a Coldplay classic, while hooked to a breathing machine. Sadly, I just learned he died in January.
Regardless of the raw emotion associated with real life displayed in this movie, the docu really shows what life is about -- living it to its fullest and making people smile. Watch it when you're feeling down and you are sure to be lifted instantaneously.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I know I've mentioned this song in a previous post, but I've decided it's worth its own individual post.
I can't get enough of Christian rock band Skillet's rock opera "Rebirthing." I generally like hard rock, but often times I don't like/agree with the message inside in the songs lyrics. This is one I can rock out to and not feel like I need to wash out my mouth out with soap afterward.
I just love the start to the song -- it's almost like going into battle...Plus, I love the female guitarist!
Give it a listen.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
When I was a kid, we had two huge built-in bookcases in our house. The shelves were filled with encyclopedias, books about amphibians and apes, and of course, tons of children's books. I remember spending rainy Saturday afternoons plopped down on the floor admiring the pages of books filled with information I had yet to fully comprehend. One book I constantly looked through (besides the 'D' encyclopedia -- D for dogs -- I loved to look at the pics), was a book about Norman Rockwell and his artwork.
Rockwell was one of the first artists I learned of as a kid. My grandpa was an oil painter, so I've always assumed my "artsy" genes came from him and fueled my fascination with a book about art at a young age.
Rockwell, to me, is the one of the best artists ever (although snobby art-lovers might turn their nose up at that notion). He painted what he saw...many times things that were invisible to the naked eye, and many times seeing right through to the heart of the matter. He painted about controversy -- war and civil rights, but also painted what people knew and understood -- love, humor and everyday America.
The painting shown above is my absolute favorite of his. I have a print of it hanging in our guest bedroom. I remember reading somewhere that the painting (from 1961) was a depiction of how Rockwell saw the world and how he wished the world would be. To me, it represents world peace and that's absolutely beautiful, especially considering the time in which it was painted (during Vietnam).
I was ecstatic today when I heard on the news that some of Norman Rockwell's collection is coming to the Detroit Institute of Arts starting on Sunday. I'm excited to have the opportunity to see some of his work in person, right in my own backyard.
"American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell," will be at the DIA March 8–May 31, 2009. The exhibit includes 44 paintings and 323 original Saturday Evening Post covers.
I began with a quote, and now I leave you with a quote:
"The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they're always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back." - Norman Rockwell
Sunday, February 22, 2009
In honor of tonight's Oscars, I've picked one of the songs up for a golden dude grab.
This song is so fitting for this ADORABLE animated movie. If you haven't seen the flick, I highly suggest you give it a watch -- there are lessons for both children and adults to learn.
And, Peter Gabriel's unique voice never gets old!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Robert “Bob” Porter was having his usual lunch at the Clarkston Senior Center seven years ago when he spotted a newcomer at one of the tables.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Feel free to come watch us plunge on Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. at the Roostertail in Detroit. And, if you're feeling generous and want to donate, visit my page here. If you can't, feel free to cheer me on -- I'll need the support (and some liquid courage)!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
If you've heard this song, you probably could have guessed this would be the song I picked for this week's Sunday Song.
Not gonna lie, the first time I heard this, I shed some tears for Detroit. It pains me everyday to hear about the thousands of people being laid off from auto-related jobs and beyond. This song strikes a chord with me because it says exactly how I feel -- you shut Detroit down and watch out! It's going to be chaos for this entire country -- it truly will be the trickle down effect.
Kudos to John Rich for writing this song - in an hour. I'm glad someone out there in the 'real world' is paying attention to us.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I read my favorite (located in the medicine cabinet of all places) almost every night...It's advice from women 100 years old and up. There's a lot of great knowledge here, so I figured I'd share.
- You can't control other people. You can only control your reaction.
- Don't hold onto anger -- you'll just make yourself miserable.
- When playing Scrabble, don't use up the S's right away.
Frances Johnson, 100
- Avoid a fast talker when looking for a husband. Go for someone who's steady.
- Volunteering gets you away from your own worries.
- More is not necessarily better. Going for first or biggest leads to unhappiness.
Edna Anderson, 100
- A person never gets too old to love.
- If you expect perfection from everyone, you'll be all alone.
- You're better off alone than with bad company.
Mary Cavaliere, 106
- Anything you love is important.
- Children love praise. They'll do something again and again just to get you to praise them.
- You'll always need your girlfriends.
Melva Radcliffe, 105
- Never feel sorry for yourself.
- If you worry about being old, you will be old.
- A mother should respect her children, just as they should respect her.
Evelyn "Tootsie" Yeager, 102
Sunday, January 25, 2009
But Grandy is such a winner when it comes to knocking life outta the park, it's hard not to feel the pitter-patter of love when you learn his story.
I became fascinated with Granderson last year when I randomly came across his blog on ESPN.com. It was there that I learned he is not only a great writer, but he also graduated with a degree in business marketing/managing. And boy does he know how to market himself!
He's a good baseball player. He's very media-friendly. But most importantly, he does what many sports players do not do enough of: he gives back to the community. More specifically, he gives back to my community.
In his short time as a MLB player, he has donated time, money and memorabilia to tons of charitable causes not only in the Detroit area, but throughout the entire nation.
Both of Granderson's parents were teachers in Chicago, therefore the importance of education has become the focal point in Granderson's message to area youth, as he is one of only a handful of MLB players with a college degree.
His foundation, the Grand Kids Foundation was established last year to help our local public schools purchase school supplies for needy families and buy books and supplies for schools that don't receive the funds they are always in dire need of.
He's even established numerous baseball programs in some of Michigan's inner cities and is currently working on creating a scholarship program for high school graduates.
Annnd, he's only 27 years old, folks.
I have loved this song since I saw Lifehouse live in high school. Amazing song...and this skit's interpretation sends chills down my spine. Whether you are religious or not...watch with an open mind. There is just plain something to be said about the power of God!
“God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight.” ~ Reggie White
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Yet another un-Sunday song, however, this one is SO post-worthy. This vid is from an award-winning documentary called "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music." (check out www.playingforchange.com for more information)
Amazing musical concept. Thank you, video maker. Here's to a little peace in '09!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Best of luck to you all in 2009!