March 27, 2010

And Yet, One of Her Songs is My Most Hated

OMFG OMFG OMFG! A friend of mine just told me that Sarah McLachlan is putting out her first studio album in SEVEN YEARS on JUNE 15th!!!!! Just in time for my BIRTHDAY. I don't think I can use enough caps to fully convey HOW MUCH I LOVE HER. I LOVE HER. I own all of her albums. Studio albums, Christmas album, live albums, B-side albums. All of it. Forget that I am prone to hyperbole and believe me when I say SHE IS MY FAVORITE.

It all started in the 7th grade (apparently everything started for me in the 7th grade...) when I caught some Canadian music television up in the UP. There was this ethereal video with a beautiful woman hanging out in a church singing this amazing song that pulled you in with its powerful lyrics and kept you entangled with its soaring melody. I never forgot that song but couldn't figure out who it was until three years later. I saw the video again on late-night MTV. It was Sarah and the song was "Possession."

I went out and bought the album, listened to it and then went right back out and bought everything else she did. I would listen to her CDs all the time. In the car, in my room, in my Walkman. I know her albums inside and out and I've seen her in concert twice (I feel like I saw her thrice but can't imagine the second...)- once with friends instead of going to my junior year Homecoming dance and again with my mom after college. Sarah puts on the best concerts. She does at least two encores and obviously loves her fans. She is an amazing musician and a wonderful humanitarian. I didn't get to go to any Lilith Fairs, though. Too expensive. And I like to shave.

I've missed her presence on the air. She's put out some singles to promote her compilations but nothing like her studio albums. Her best album is probably her third. None of the following studio albums have had the same continuity of sound and theme since. They've been great and perfect for me to sing along with (I also have many, many of her song books and sang her songs almost exclusively for solo performances in theatre class and in choir- yep, I was that girl. And I don't give a damn.) Sarah McLachlan is just one of those artists who no one can replicate. Neither in sound nor in presence.

Here is the song that got me hooked for life, "Possesion."

Her Canadian totally shows through.

Here's another much loved, "Sweet Surrender."

And that song I most hate? "Angel." Don't even get me started.

March 26, 2010

Different But Still the Same

I've been having an affair. This past week I've been sleeping with someone who isn't Mike. And I'm okay with it. Fluffy has been nothing but warm and cuddly and attentive to me while Mike falls asleep in the living room and leaves me cold and alone in our bed night after night. Though I miss him, the cat really isn't a bad bed buddy. The getting all up in my face and making me sneeze with the whiskers is kind of annoying but I can look past it. Mike does that to me too.

March 25, 2010

Is it Really That Bad?

I've been doing a lot of ruminating on Health Care Reform. Facebook and Twitter are just on fire. Most of my friends and people I follow are totally for it and need it and support it. And those online friends who post something about how awesome it is will inevitably get an angry comment from someone who is just pissed beyond belief about the whole thing. Some people out there are so angry they are attacking their representative's office and threatening violence to those who supported the bill. I can't believe the hatred and vitriol. It's fine to be upset with legislation you don't support being passed. I just don't quite understand why this issue, among all the other shit the government has done/is doing, is what's getting this violent reaction.

Many friends of mine fit into some of the following, if not multiple, categories- unemployed, artist, part-time, young, student, asthmatic, business owner. Those same people cannot have insurance. To pay for individual insurance, which I did for three years out of college, can be incredibly cost prohibitive. Paying that much for coverage while trying to provide for oneself is ridiculous.

Imagine a country where those people, anyone, can have the freedom to leave a situation they are in just to have coverage and start something that can better the world in which we live? It can be a scientist who leaves her job to cure cancer. It can be the next Picasso. It can be the next Google dude. Or it can be the young woman who wants to start her own company that will help starving children in Africa. These things happen now, this is true. But think of the millions of people who have health coverage as their last hang-up. They can now go out and conquer the world.

I really believe the United States of America can only benefit from Universal Health Coverage. We are the richest nation in the world and yet cannot take care of our own. This is not a perfect solution. Or a cheap solution. But it's a start. And we can make it happen. We can take care of each other. We can make this world a better place.

March 22, 2010

Working on My Fitness

The triathlon season is quickly approaching and my tri-suit still fits me like a GAP t-shirt fits a nine-month pregnant woman. Lately I just can't stop eating junk. My willpower has flown out the window and I have is my excessive ass to show for it. So, to try and change things up I'm going to put two things into action. Because that's what I am, a person of action.

1. I have a phone consultation with a nutritionist on Thursday. I have no idea how I'm going to pay for her services but I really, really need to talk to someone about the best way for me to fuel my body while I'm training and while I'm sitting around on my rear. I read a lot about nutrition and protein and ways to cut calories but I need something better for me than generic nutrition advice. The nutritionist I'm "meeting with" is a former schoolmate of Michael and she went to undergrad for theatre and is now a holistic nutrition/food coach. I think we'll get along just great. Simply filling out the form for the meeting made me really think about my eating habits as a kid and as an adult. I've already made significantly positive changes but I can't seem to cut sugar- refined or straight up. Wish me luck!

2. My friend Pepper (that is his real name) has a fitness DVD that I really want to get my hands on. He's going to let me and Mike borrow it to get a feel for it and see if we like it. It's called P90X and it's three months of muscle confusion. I think my body is just getting used to the activity I participate in and I just don't have the time to make my workouts twice as long to get the same result I used to get in normal time. This will tone me up, help with cardio health and be fun to do with Mike in our living room. Fitting into my tri-suit and no longer worrying about whether or not my dress will be comfortable around my waist are just perks.

Hopefully these will be changes I can keep up with everyday life. I'm worried I won't be able to afford certain foods like more fruit and veg (that stuff is shamefully expensive) or that the DVDs will be too expensive. But I won't know until I do try and make it fit my needs. That's the point of it all, right?

All A-twitter

I may be about two years behind (as many people have so kindly pointed out to me) but I finally joined Twitter. I have a few reasons for caving in and doing it- one of them being feeling left out of something and another because it can help me in a project I'm working on. More on that to come in the following months. In the meantime I feel like my mom asking to be shown how to program a microwave. So if you're on Twitter, follow me- @belleshpgrl.

March 19, 2010

No More Fun at This YMCA

My YMCA is closing. And I am so bummed. Mike and I can find another gym that really isn't that far away but my friends from the gym who don't have cars and belong to that gym because of location are really screwed. As are all the at risk youth who play basketball there, the men and women from overcrowded shelters who engage in activities there to relieve the shelter's cramped space, the parents who rely on the Y for childcare and the employees who lost their jobs.

The whole thing upsets me so much. When the president and CEO told us in January that we had to find 700 new members by April in order to stay open but then proceeded to tell us about his plan for what to do with money once he closed our Y, I realized no matter how hard the community worked to keep it open under such short notice- it would close. It smacked of insincerity. Also, the president said "the last time I checked, National Grid didn't cash emotional checks." And then when we reached the goal, he subtracted all the non-renewals taking the total down. What a dick.

This is about more than the fact that Mike and I will have to drive to our gym instead of walk. And that we'll have to have an even earlier morning than we already do. Fine. Whatever. It will work out and may be better in the end. This is about the fact that a large part of this community will die on April 1st. Albany will become that much more pathetic and run down. And that is terribly sad. Apparently no matter how hard we try, Albany will just be more of the same. Sometimes the futility is suffocating.

March 11, 2010

I Will Never Learn

I've had some nasty writer's block. That in mind, I'm going to tell you about my most recent brush with celebrity. And it's awesome.

Albany had a snow storm a few weeks ago and like the addict I am, I followed it closely on the Weather Channel. The weather folks were talking a lot about the "Nor'easter" when they cut to one of the guys they send out where the weather is happening- Mike Seidel. As he's standing in the precipitation I realize an Albany city bus drives right behind him. Upon further studying I recognize the State Capitol! (That and he said that's where he was.) He was broadcasting from a stop of my bus route. MY BUS ROUTE!!! I squee-ed with delight while Mike rolled his eyes and went back to his snow day.

As my bus approached the location of CELEBRITY I looked for the crew. They weren't out and about but the camera was set up with a big light facing the Capitol. I got off two stops sooner (really two small city blocks) and tried to plan my next move. My motive was not to be on camera, just say hello so I had no idea what to do with myself until they came out. I called Mike to see if they were going to cut to Albany any time soon and hid around a building. As Mike resigned himself to helping me out the crew gets out of the van and there is MIKE SEIDEL!! My Mike tells me to act like a normal person and head to work. So I do.

I walk past Mike Seidel and almost totally chicken out when I spin around and walked up to the camera. "You're Mike Seidel from the Weather Channel!" "Yes. And who are you?" "I'm Katherine!" "And what do you do?" "I work at a theatre down the street. I'm a huge fan, I watch every morning!" "That's great." "I saw that you were on my bus route so I got off early to say hello!" "Oh. Enjoy the storm." "I AM!" I promptly called my Mike and then Emily to gush like an idiot. Thankfully I had the wherewithal to wait until I got to the end of the street. Something I lacked when I confessed I had stalked the poor man. I need a hobby.

March 8, 2010

Cheated of My Wonderland

I changed my masthead. Finally. Unfortunately the temperature is not befitting the snowy image I selected for this month. High of 50 today. And it sucks. I've been robbed of my winter. We had one snow storm and I took a photo of the view outside my window. It was lovely. For you who can't see my masthead, here's the image I used:

Sigh. I miss winter and it's not technically over yet.

March 1, 2010

Mind Over Matter

As per my usual, when I got on the bus this morning I went to the first available row and sat in the window seat. It's not that I have any preference to the window- I just think people are assholes for sitting on the end and preventing someone sitting next to them. On this particular bus the seats are heavily cushioned and the seat I selected was severely indented and dark. It looked rather suspect compared to its bench companion. I convinced myself it was wet before I even sat down on it, when I realized it wasn't. Surely the seat looked like that because of people like myself- conscientious bus riders. But I couldn't shake the feeling that I was sitting in something damp.

I didn't once shift my weight for fear of hearing a squish and finding out the seat really was wet. I didn't have the balls to actually touch the padding with skin. I was too scared to prove myself right. So the whole ride I was reading a book and listening to my iPod. Anything to take my focus off of my ass. You know how when you are touching something slightly damp (not wet but damp) you feel cool? Well my ass felt cool the entire time and I was trapped. I couldn't go anywhere because since I kept the aisle seat open for someone, someone took me up on the offer and sat there the entire ride. I was screwed and freaking out.

Once I stood up and got off the bus, I faced my fear and touched my totally not damp at all rear. Yet, I couldn't shake the willies I gave myself after my initial thought of "that seat looks peed in." Whatever would I have done if the seat really was wet? I think the better question is, why did I sit in it at all? Oh how I wish I could answer that.