Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Be careful who you love

Another yummy performance on American Idol by David Cook. Mind you, the judges didn't seem to realize David himself didn't come up with this arrangement, that it was the Most Fabulous Amazingly Talented Chris Cornell (from Seattle, I might add) who originally came up with this crazy acoustic version of Billie Jean.

But all in all, it was a riveting performance. Again. This dude with the potato head rocks!

Not a great version of the video, but I didn't want you to have to sit through the usual AI fluff bits that go around the song. Again, we give thanks to Tivo so we don't waste our entire lives away...

And oddly enough, this song had been on my mind for the past week or so. I have the 25th Anniversary Edition of Thriller CD in my car. I practically wore out the record in 1983 on my Fisher Price record player, and was "thrilled" to see they were releasing a new version this year for the anniversary, since we didn't have it on CD.

I'm stunned that 25 years later, my favorites still stand out. "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" are just as rockin as they were when I was 8. Now that's impressive. Also more impressive was that just a few years ago, I found out it was Eddie Van Halen playing guitar on "Beat It". So even at the age of 8, I recognized great rock music!

I still can't get over the power of music to make me happy and remind me of old times (good and bad). I hope I never have to live without it. I think it's probably genetic because my parents both love music (of course, it's totally different music) and even they travel to see their favorite performers live. It's just that their favorites aren't Finnish heavy metal bands!

Which reminds me, the concert calendar for May and June is filling up - 4 shows in about 5 weeks! Dream Theater in Seattle, Nightwish in Las Vegas, Rush at the Gorge, and Iron Maiden in Seattle. I am so totally stoked about going to the Gorge. It's a legendary concert venue and despite living in Seattle for 8 of my 30-odd years, I've never been there. I can't wait. And of course, I'll report back!

What concerts are you attending this year?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

You better hide your heart

Yet another productive Sunday. TJ has now picked up on Sunday being my day to unclutter and tidy, and says that I get crazy. There's some truth to that - I am a person who gets stressed when faced with piles of disorganized STUFF, and sometimes it's a losing battle around here. For both of us. Really, I'm not pointing fingers.

Actually, it's ALL of us here that leave stuff lying around everywhere. I picked up 8 dog toys from the kitchen. 8!!
When we get home from work on weekdays, the first thing we do is feed the pups. Of course, the minute we get home, the dogs are superexcited to see us. I mean, it's been 8 or 9 whole HOURS since they saw us.

And yeah, I'll admit it, that's one of the main reasons to have a dog. It's awesome to have someone who's so happy to see you every time you come back to the house, even from the grocery store or getting the mail.

Well, in this excited state, Spike always grabs the nearest toy, races up the stairs and flings it at the container that holds the dog food. Sometimes he flings it into the container, or into his bowl, and once, into the water bowl. Nice shot, Spikeman! And of course, he's so cute, that we don't tell him NOT to do this.

So at the end of the week we have approximately 7 dog toys hanging out by the feeding area. And every Sunday I take those dog toys back downstairs to their basket, the Designated Dog Toy Storage Container. This week it was Mailman, Starman, One Footed Blue Squeaker, Purple Devil Squeaker and three tennis balls.

I love my puppies.

Friday, March 21, 2008

They buy me all these ices

So I'm pretty stoked because tomorrow I'll be attending a gem show in Tacoma. Since my mom is doing a bunch of stone shopping for me in India, I'm not planning to buy much, but just wanted to see what one of these shows is like. I can't imagine the Tacoma Dome filled with jewelry component vendors. It should be interesting, at any rate.

And at work, I filled out a bracket for the NCAA tournament. I'm not a sports fan, really, but I LOVE the mathematical aspect, and of course, the gambling aspect of picking the winners. There's something nice and neat about the bracket. And of course the validation I get when I'm right. I've picked 24 out of 32 games so far, including a few upsets. I'm pretty pleased with that given my lack of knowledge in general...
I did take some feedback from TJ (which has proved to be both good and bad), but I'm 4th out of 10 in our office tournament right now. Go Villanova Villains!! Yes, I know they're really the Wildcats, but really, shouldn't the Villanova team be the Villains? Come on now.

And can I get an amen for how glad I am it's Friday? Woot. I'm actually planning to get back to being crafty this weekend, and you know, MAKE STUFF. Yay.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

You don't know how lucky you are

I am half watching the American Idol results show. But last night's performance show was pretty bad, so I don't have a lot of interest in it.

Is Kristy Lee Cook finally going home? She's so freakin' boring. Cute, but boring.

All I want to see is David Cook, Brooke White, and Chikezie stick around. I LOVED Chikezie's crazy country thing last night. I think it's so awesome that he can sing all kinds of music - R&B, rock and country. And he seems perfectly comfortable with all of it. And dang, he's good.

And what's up with the judges pimping David Archuleta so much? I nearly fell asleep during his song last night.

Yay, Brooke is safe. So 1/3 isn't bad. And now, I have run out of Tivo buffer. And no one should have to watch AI in real time.

Did I mention how awesome my husband is? I was whining about really wanting a diet Coke at dinner time today (I don't buy it at home since I drink it during the work day) and when he came back from the gym just now, he brought me a diet coke. It's the little things that count, I tell you. I'm a lucky girl.

And you know what else? Making a list of my top priorities has really made me refocus and pick out what's important. I feel a lot calmer, and less frantic about all I "have" to do.

Yay, KLC is in the bottom 3. Maybe she'll finally go home. I suppose I could just ask the Internet, since this show already ran on the East Coast 3 hours ago...

So is anyone else out there watching AI7? Who do you like at this point in the game?

Monday, March 17, 2008

That's what dreams are made of

I love the movie "Rock Star" with Marky Mark and Jennifer Aniston. The basic story is about a guy who is the ultimate fan of a heavy metal band, and gets invited to replace their lead singer. A la Judas Priest, who did something similar in the 90s.

Life imitates art again. Journey got a new lead singer in 2007. Which isn't that remarkable since they've had a few since Steve Perry left ages ago. The crazy thing is that they found their singer on YouTube, singing Journey covers in a cheesy hotel band. In the Phillipines. Seriously. I thought my friend Dave was totally making this up when he told me the story.

And then he sent me this link:

Watch it. Seriously. Take in the cheesy hotel band, the Tagalog chatter at the beginning of the song. And then this guy starts singing and it's unreal how much he sounds like Steve Perry. How is it possible that he sings with an American accent? Amazing.

The even more remarkable thing is that Arnel Pineda has been a musician for a long time, and grew up really, really poor, if you believe Wikipedia. And one day Neil Schon from Journey saw this video and emailed the guy who posted it to get Arnel's contact info so he could convince him to audition for Journey. And then they picked him. Crazy.

They're going on tour this summer, and I *so* plan to be there if they come to Seattle. Woot!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

We love you

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. I've been feeling very stressed out and can't really pinpoint why. Work is busy, but not *that* busy. We're not traveling much, and don't have too many social commitments.

I think it's because I have a lot of things clattering around in my brain, a lot of half-finished projects and goals, and no real sense of priority among them. I'd like to learn how to sew, make a bunch more jewelry for my Etsy shop, have a perfectly-organized house, tackle the yardwork in our horrendous backyard, bathe the puppies every 3-4 weeks, catch up on the giant "to be ironed" pile in my closet, get into shape, do fun and interesting things with my husband, take the puppies to the park every day, etc.

You get the picture. The list is neverending. I'm not very good at just sitting still and BEING. I am always thinking of what I need to do and what's next. Which makes me not a lot of fun to be around, really. But not only that, it makes me sort of 'float' through life, without really focusing on what I'm currently doing. I get up, go to work, fritter away some time watching TV or surfing the Net, go to sleep and start all over again. I catch up on errands and chores on the weekend. Not the most fun existence, and it's making me stressed out all the time.

And really, I have a pretty awesome life. I should be enjoying it more.

I started reading David Allen's "Getting Things Done" last week on the bus. I already know the principles from the "Managing Action" course I took a couple of times at Microsoft, which is basically using Outlook as a tool to apply the GTD principles. Now I love a good time management system.

One of the first things you do in the GTD system is identify your projects. I realized I have a ton of projects and have never really identified what's most important to me. This post on an awesome blog called ZenHabits, really hit home for me.

So here goes. The stuff that's most important to me, in no particular order:
  • TJ and the puppies
  • Really, truly, getting control of my weight (yep, still at it)
  • Staying in touch with friends and family (yes, I'm really bad at this)
  • Making our house a home (my castle and all that...)
  • Being crafty, and secondarily, working on my etsy shop
So, you might notice that my work/career is not on this list. I like my job. As a way to earn money, it's better than getting repeatedly poked in the eye. But I'm (finally) discovering that my job can't make me happy. It can definitely make me UNHAPPY but it's not bringing me great joy.

But it does bring me a way to buy shoes and pay for everything else on my list of priorities. So it's necessary, but for me, not a real priority. So for now I'm going to focus on the stuff that makes me happy. Of course, I'll still show up for work and do a good job while I'm there, but I'm going to try and keep it confined to my work day. Not a lot of extraneous email checking at home, or "getting ahead" by putting in 10 hour days. Because I'm the sort of obsessive perfectionist that'll let it totally take over. Yeah, there will still be days where I need to work late because of a customer problem, but I'm not going to voluntarily *choose* to work late. I'm going to practice being just a bit less of an overachiever, and see if that gives me more time to focus on what's really important.

So what did I do this weekend to further my new set of prioritized goals?
  • Baked brownies for TJ's birthday month
  • Baked pumpkin muffins for myself (not very pumpkin-y)
  • Made a kickass healthy beef stew for both TJ and me (and he likes it!)
  • Went to the dog park on both days
  • Walked an hour with Aimee yesterday
  • Walked 5 miles with Aimee today for our half-marathon training (yeah, baby!)
  • Wrote down everything I ate today
  • Finished and put away the laundry
  • Ran the dishwasher twice
  • Went grocery shopping with TJ
  • Emailed my mom (finally!)
Not bad, huh? I feel a lot better about clarifying my priorities. I think it gives me a framework to cross off the stuff that isn't important. I felt more relaxed this weekend than I have in weeks. Months, maybe even.

And now, I'm just sitting on the couch, under my favorite down comforter, with two sleeping dogs curled up next to me. TJ is here too. Life is good.

Monday, March 10, 2008

In the midnight hour, she cried

Tesla concert. Last night. Showbox SODO. Crappy venue. Opening band Cinder Road. Mostly bland. Kickass cover of Rebel Yell.

Watch it:

Not much to say about Tesla, except that they suffer from the same problem as Def Leppard. Years of hard partying have really taken their toll on singer Jeff Keith's voice. He sounded awful and hoarse, and butchered most of the songs. He said he was getting over a bad flu. If the flu was the cause of his horrid voice they should have postponed the show. But my guess is that the band just wanted to recapture their 80s glory and make some money for their retirement and figured that the 80s fans would hear the songs in their head the way they were supposed to sound. And somehow he and Lily Tomlin have morphed into the same person. Very strange.

On a bright note, the guitarists were pretty incredible, yet again. They have honed their skills to perfection and played a variety of songs to prove it: country, rock, metal, and even a little Spanish-sounding stuff a la Gipsy Kings that segued nicely into my favorite Tesla song, "Love Song". But the illusion was shattered when Jeff started singing. Blech.

Did I miss the memo about metal bands jumping on the flag-waving "support the troops" bandwagon? I'm all for quietly respecting the sacrifices our military makes for our country but it makes me slightly nauseous when my entertainment waves its politics at me. And then performs awful songs about it. Each band had its own new crappy song about a soldier at war.

If you want a good political statement song, try "Deja Vu (All Over Again)" by John Fogerty. Now that's a good war song.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

You know just what to do

So I've been watching American Idol since Season 1, which is scary, since they're now in Season 7. But I am a sucker for any reality show where the contestants have to have some actual talent, and the personal drama/annoying personalities are kept at a minimum. This is why I don't watch Survivor or The Apprentice, and also why I *LOVE* Project Runway.

We're still early in the American Idol season, which means there are a lot of throwaway contestants still and one has to TiVo through a lot of mediocrity. But occasionally there's a performance that keeps me riveted. Where I feel like if I move, I might miss some part of the awesomeness unfolding on stage.

Last night it was David Cook with his freakin' amazing cover of Lionel Richie's 'Hello'. I can't wait until the AI machine makes him record the full length version so I can buy it. For now I'll have to content myself with YouTube and the short clip offered on iTunes. Check it out:

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I look down into a million houses

Ugh. I've had the kind of week where I just want to come home and go to bed. And two of those evenings I did just that. Which made me feel even worse because then I feel like all I do is sleep and work. TJ pointed out that I might be so tired because I drove to work this month, and stopped doing all that daily extraneous walking to/from the bus.

It was really nice to drive - I get directly to work and come home quickly, but if it just makes me so tired I can't function anyway, it's probably not worth it. Also, I just filled the gas tank in my tiny Audi and it cost $50. That was deterrent enough. So this weekend, I'll be a good girl and purchase my eco-friendly bus pass for March.

On the exercise front, I have slowly started my half marathon training with Aimee. We walked 5 miles last weekend, and plan to do another 4.5-ish this weekend. I've got a detailed training plan for the next 17 weeks to get us up to 13 miles for the event in June, so if we follow that we should be in good shape (pun intended!).

Ooh, and I got new wood blinds for my craft room (aka our 2nd guest room aka dog bed room). I ordered them online, so I'm unsure, and haven't opened the package yet, but we plan to install them today. I'm stoked to get some blinds that actually close and operate as they should. We have 30-year-old hideous beige metal blinds all over the house, so we're slowly planning to replace them. Oh, the boring things that become interesting when you grow up (!).

I am officially tired of the commute to work. Every time I drive past Microsoft (which is pretty much every time I leave the house), I kick myself for giving up the 5 minute commute.

I will admit that my current job is much better suited for my skills and interest. I just wish it was closer to home. But I am pleased to say that I'll be able to work from home for 1 day a week starting in late March, thanks to a proposal I submitted to my boss. This proposal spurred the company to adopt an official telecommuting policy, which will be unveiled later this month. So that means I only have to make the 30-ish mile round trip trek 4 times a week instead of 5. (We take what we can get...)

Well, off to poke at the new blinds!

sharing is nice

Related Posts with Thumbnails