Saturday, March 17, 2007

Rocking Women and Causes

I decided I am not waiting till the last kid leaves home to get a life. I am working on my "empty nest to do list." This week, my computer had been really busy downloading songs for my personal playlist. What inspired me to get started is the tag above. I saw it in Terry Ann's  tag journal and I just can't pass it up. Terry Ann is so awesome! I asked for it and she made me one with my name on it.
Looking at the songs I have downloaded previously for my playlist,  I can say that my  taste in music is very eclectic.  My taste encompasses every musical genre and subgenre except for the modern day hip hop and rap. The only rap musician I like is Blondie. Her 80's song, Rapture was the first and last rap song I ever liked. The only hip hop artist I listened to lately is Gnarls Barkley. I like playing "Crazy" and singing along with it in my car. Maybe I am showing my age here but I do not "get" a lot of new hip hop and rap songs. 
The tag reminded me of my love for female rock stars. Some might think that female rock and roll musicians are all from the 80's. Nope, women had been at it as early as the 20's. Though the 80's saw a proliferation of female performers who rocked because they were signed by mainstream labels, variations of rock had been sung in the 20's to the 70's by numerous talented women.
Not surprisingly, most of the music I have downloaded this week were sung/played by female singers/musicians. I have Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Etta James, Sister  Rosetta Tharpe, Billy Holiday, CWLU Band, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin,Tina Turner, Debbie Harry, Heart, Lita Ford, Cindy Lauper, Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks, Pat Benatar, Annie Lennox, Patti Smith, Kate Bush, Tracy Chapman, PJ Harvey, Erykah Badu, Vanessa May, KT Tunstall and Ani DiFranco. The common denominator for all these women is that they were rock stars. They rocked and rolled like nobody's business. Feel free to suggest anybody who I may overlook. 
Sure, there is a room for a few male musicians like Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Fats Domino, Kurt Cobain, and Bruce Springsteen but I am very partial to women who have versatile voices. I like them even better when they can belt out a meaningful song. There is nothing more contradictory yet exhilarating than a sad or bittersweet song being sung in an upbeat manner.
Aside from music, I have other preoccupations lately. I've been working with a nonprofit organization as a Project Manager. Our most recent project was putting together a grant proposal for an afterschool program in an at risk area in our city. Great place, great people, and noble dreams. I am proud to be affiliated with rebels with a cause. Right now, I am working on developing the curriculum for the Personal Development and Parenting classes for the afterschool program. Lots of writing and research but it will be all worth it when I finally see the end product.
Another preoccupation is a plan to start a part time business with my neighbor. She is a lovely lady from Paraguay who is a dreamer like myself. She owns a private school in San Juan Bautista where the students do not have to pay for tuition. As you can see, we're both bleeding hearts so we get along well. We're going to do something that I can't  disclose just yet. It's not illegal, just that our business plan needs to be worked and reworked before full disclosure. In layman's term, we're still in the talking and dreaming stage. 
If I disappear from blogsphere for a while, do not send the Marines to rescue me. I will be fine, just busy earning brownie points for my economic as well as my karmic existence.  

Friday, March 9, 2007

Home Alone: Old Geezers Version






A few days ago, hubby and I had a glimpse of the years ahead. 


Unlike most weekends in our home, we were actually home alone.


It is common knowledge that a teenager living in the home tends to multiply during weekends. Our home is most often chosen as the "hangout" of a gaggle of tall, lanky sixteen year olds: playing Wii, PS2, Xbox 360, Super Nintendo or PC games; having laptop marathon; exchanging witty remarks, potshots and insults; watching scary or funny movies; clanging their musical instruments; and taking frequent trips to the bathroom, refrigerator or pantry. They tease each other endlessly, put away groceries enough to feed a small nation, and roughhouse till the wee hours but I love every one of them. I felt guilty for feeling relieved that they have chosen to hang out elsewhere that weekend, but the guilt was shortlived.


Hubby and I started the evening by going out to dinner and watching Hannibal Rising at the movies. Then we came home, lit the fireplace, opened a bottle of wine, and played the romantic playlist off his iPod. We drank, talked, laughed, and danced infront of the fireplace. We acted like we had no worries.  I felt so light and happy. ( Maybe it’s the wine, but for argument’s sake, let’s say it’s because I felt so stress free. I see a lot of you nodding and murmuring, “Yeah, it’s the wine!”)


The evening reminded me of the times we shared when we were childless. When were free to do whatever we want. When we did not worry about the kids or the babysitter. The memories of the distant past relived.


We enjoyed and focused on each other like we have done before the kids came in the picture. It was just hubby and I. Not against the world, but in synch with it. Everything just seemed so right. At one time, I told hubby, “This is life!” and it was an understatement. (No, it’s not the wine talking.)


 After that night, I arrived at the conclusion that the dreaded "empty nest" would be more of a blessing than a curse. Sure, I will still miss my kids and I will worry about them but I intend on having a life after the last one leaves. I am already planning on traveling more with my hubby, stocking the wine cabinet, enlarging my music playlist, building an extensive library, pursuing a few other passions I kept on the back burner for so long, and reliving “that night” as often as possible.


Yes, I am looking forward to tomorrow. 


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Spring Has Sprung

                  Spring is here!
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
                     Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

  William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.



My garden is slowly coming back to life. I know the daffodils blooming foretell the warm weather ahead. There is something about spring that you can't see with your eyes but yet "it" gladdens your heart.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Sorry, No Munchkins and Flying Monkeys Today

Aunt Em! Aunt Em! I am Home!
The worst of the Tornado Warnings and Watches are over for now. When I woke up this morning, I went outside to check if our house landed on the Wicked Witch or in the Land of Oz. The surrounding was familiar and it looked like Florida.  Toto was barking his head off as a greeting to his friend, Mr. Squirrel, who was hanging precariously by his hind leg on our privacy fence. The air smelled like magnolia blossoms and the neighbor's greasy breakfast of  bacon strips and grits. Yup,  I was still in Florida! 
Aside for a couple of oak limbs in the front yard, everything seems to be intact and grounded. Thank you for your concerns and prayers. The prayers worked! Hallelujah!
It is actually a very nice day today. The sun is out and it feels like spring outside. I put a few bare root roses and some veggie seeds in the garden. I also took out all the plants I have been harboring inside my house. I hope the freeze periods are over for my area. I do not want to bring all those heavy pots inside for at least six months.
I still need to pour some 75 pounds and 20 gallons of various chemicals in the pool. We hired a diver last week to find the leak in it. It was sipping water like a ginormous buffalo for the past few weeks. We stopped topping the water in it for a couple of weeks so the diver could go down and investigate. The leak was found and repaired after I paid the diving company an arm and a leg. Another arm and leg went to refilling it and buying the chemicals to "stabilize" the tap water poured into it. Just so you know, I may not update for a while since I am typing this post with a pencil in my mouth.   
Have a good weekend. May you not suffer from tornadoes, pool leak, and loss of extremities.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Tornado Warning

Dorothy, Get Toto!
My neck of the wood is under tornado warning. One already touched down in Enterprise, Alabama and killed 13 people. The last time I heard is we'll be under warning until 8:00 PM. Too bad we do not have basements here in West Florida. We'll just have to sit this out and hope that it will spare us.