I just got back from a good friend of mine's house-->I know that's not grammatically correct, but what are ya gonna do. I just got back from her house...where the conversation was great, as always...and now I'm thinking...so here are my thoughts. Unadulterated and unconfined.
Thoughts, Observations and Musings On The Last 15 days, 12 hours, and 8 minutes.
*now playing: In Your Atmosphere (Live), John Mayer // "I'm gonna steer clear, burn up in your atmosphere, cause I'd die if I saw you, I'd die if I didn't see you there.... Wherever I go, whatever I do, I wonder where I am in my relationship to you. Wherever you go, wherever you are, I watch your life play out in pictures from afar."
Item #1: This may be the most important lesson you learn from this entire post. (As if I am a well of knowledge..) NEVER LOSE YOUR CAR KEYS IN JACKSON HOLE, WY. In fact, don't lose anything in Jackson Hole, WY that can't be replaced at Albertsons or Maverick or a ritsy, over-priced souvenir/tourist shop. If you lose your cowboy hat or boots, you're golden. They have those there...plenty of them. Just don't lose your car keys.
Item #2: Alarm clocks are sometimes possessed by the devil. Sometimes they go off on the morning you're supposed to be somewhere at 7am at 6:36am and they will say that it's 5:00AM--the time that you set for them to go off---but they're lying...piece of crap. You'll then have your friend set her alarm the next day so you have a fail-safe... and the devil will take over her alarm and it won't go off at 5:30AM like it's supposed to. Why in the world are we getting up so early? Damnation...this must be the devil's wake up time.
*nowplaying Mmm, Laura Izibor // "You're my light in the dark, guiding me home. Your faith in me is all I need. Baby, your love it sets me free."
Item #3: If you go to an antique store and you have an affinity for all things old, vintage, recycled, timeless, one of a kind, etc etc you will probably spend way too much money. You might find some awesome vintage bells--like this--and be compelled to purchase them and then record them and put them on your new record and then listen to your new record over and over cause it's just so dang cute. Also, these are much harder to play than you would think. But, I'm a perfectionist.
Item #4: Mouth Off Show is just great for road trips...like really great--->www.mouthoffshow.com---ever since the August 8th episode I find every opportunity I can to use the word "amaze-balls". Yes, Christopher. Yes.
Item #5: Southern/Eastern Idaho is kind of ugly...everything seems to be a "light tan" color. "My favorite color is light tan"...anyway... But, the Tetons are beautiful. I don't really ski, but I would definitely stay in a secluded lodge at the foot of those mountains with an attractive male that was hopefully related to me by...marriage and have..fun.
*nowplaying White Daisy Passing, Rocky Votolato // "I'm going down to sleep on the bottom of the ocean. Cause I couldn't let go, and the water hit the setting sun."
Item #6: If you lose your car keys, don't drive back to Salt Lake with the rest of your party and leave your car in Jackson Hole, WY. Don't assume the dealership will be able to make you new keys without your car at the dealership. Don't assume that AAA will tow your car when you're not at your car. Don't assume they won't either, because after 5 hours of driving to my car, I passed the tow truck on the road 2 miles from my destination. Don't assume that AAA will get your car to the dealership 70 miles away before the key people leave. Do assume that you may need to find some distant relative in the area to stay with for the night. Cozy in, enjoy the ride.
Needless to say, this was a fiasco. First surprise, anxiousness, frustration, a doubting hope and helplessness set in. Then, disappointment, more frustration, more helplessness, loss, shame and anxiety joined the party. Like a recipe for heartbreak, a pinch of this, a tsp of that, they welled up into a tight ball in my chest. On the drive back to Salt Lake--the first time--in someone else's car, in the dark, I put my ipod earbuds in and looked up at the bright half-moon above the tree-studded mountainside and as the opening strings to Matt Morris's "Bloodline" played that ball worked its way up and melted into warm tears on my face. I can't explain everything, like why this felt like heartbreak. But, things happen and sometimes you have feelings about it (and when you're blue like me, you feel everything.) I believe in a good cry every now and then. I believe in processing your feelings instead of letting that ball turn to stone and crush your insides. That sounds painful.
For some reason, as odd as it sounds, looking up at that moon, that bright light on an otherwise dark night (figuratively and literally) I pondered how God is sometimes compared to the light of the sun. I remembered that He is up there watching down on me. That little light, a reflection of the sun on the other side of the earth, was a gentle, "hello, I am here. and I know where you are right now." More tears ensued.
*nowplaying Let It Be Me, Ray LaMontagne // "there may come a time you just can't seem to find your place. for every door you open, seems like you get two slammed in your face. that's when you need someone, someone that you can call. when all your faith is gone, it feels like you can't go on. Let it be me. If it's a friend you need, let it be me."
Item #7: If you let yourself get too tired, you can pretty much kick Rational to the curb and invite Emotional right in. This also contributed to Item #6.
Item #8: If you think you're gonna die because you're falling asleep at the wheel because you're in the middle of nowhere in Idaho and you've been up for 18 hours and you got 2 hours of sleep the night before and there is nothing visually stimulating where you are because there is NOTHING where you are (except for cows) and you're the only one who knows how to drive a stick shift in this scenario, ask the person in the car with you what their wildest dreams are. You will probably be completely surprised at the response, have an engaging conversation and learn all about acrobatic pilot licenses.
*nowplaying I Could Hold You In My Arms // Ray LaMontagne "I could hold you in my arms. I could hold on forever. "
Item #9: September is going to be a great month. I'm finishing up two albums sandwiched by two concerts that I'm stoked about. And lest we forget my favorite non-holiday, the day referred to in one of my favorite songs of all time--Earth, Wind & Fire "September"--do you remember the 21st night of September? Yeah...it's a special day for me. But, since we've just been listening to Ray LaMontagne I will just mention that I am going to see him one week from today! I was about to buy a ticket and just go by myself, but then I found a friend here who likes his music, too! How fortunate. It's gonna be amazing. I will say it helps that I will be in good company. I believe good company improves an already good situation by at least 86.4%. That's a mathematical certainty.... I'm also going to see Sara Bareilles on the 30th with more great friends. So...I'mnotmadaboutthatatall.
Item #10: If you start to get sick--the kind of sick where you feel it start to work its way into your sinuses and chest and throat, the kind of sick that has to run its course for at least a week or two--take two doses of Nyquil back to back and sleep as much as you can. Follow this up with large amounts of orange juice and vitamin C. You may lose a day, but better than two weeks. I was shocked to find that I was almost completely better the next day. But, then my sickness was probably brought on by exhaustion instead of infection. I think Epic Relays is trying to kill me. But I love them...them being my brother and Rob and Nick and the Epic Relays team. So...I can't hate.
*nowplaying: Brooklyn Blurs, The Paper Raincoat "I am the breeze in this still August air, I can't believe that I'm still standing here. I am a ghost to everyone I know. The stars stand still above, while Brooklyn blurs below."
Item #11: If you sit in hay, you will get stickers in your butt. If you're lucky, you'll be with a friend who is more than willing to drop their pants right there to get them off. You may get some hay leftover in your under-garments--i.e. your bra. And it may bother you. And you may try to remedy this irritation. And someone may notice and ask you about it and you may tell them you were rolling in hay. And then it might get awkward.
Item #12: People in Chubbock, Idaho are really nice...like really nice. Tracey at the Honda dealership in Idaho Falls was extremely helpful also. I appreciate congeniality.
Item #13: If you're trying to do a photo shoot in a remote location in the foothills of Provo and there is absolutely no parking for miles because the Provo parking police are the new Third Reich, just send your pregnant photographer friend up the long driveway to the house waiving the American flag (important detail, don't forget) and have her ask them if you can occupy a corner of their driveway for about an hour. They will probably be really nice and completely fine with this. It pays to hire a pregnant woman. I don't even know what that means.
*nowplaying: Motion Sickness, The Paper Raincoat "It just takes some getting used to, is all."
Item #14: Phone calls from your dad when you're once again in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming/Idaho can be quite insightful...dads have the best advice in the middle of an unfortunate mess: "Well, enjoy the journey." Thanks Dad...I'll remember that. The things is....that's all you can do....enjoy it or not. I'd rather the first.
Item #15: If you are an extremely lucky person you will have a friend named Dale Baker who will drive 13.5 hours in a pointless circle just to make sure you get home. Thank you, Dale. You know it's nothing new, bad news never had good timing. Then, the circle of your friends will defend the silver lining. Pain throws your heart to the ground. Love turns the whole thing around. No it won't all go the way it should, but I know the heart of life is good.
Item #16: John Mayer also makes an excellent road companion. "Edge of Desire"---that bridge/instrumental break/build-up is just...sexy.
Item #17: Going on a run under an orange/pink sky at the end of a really long day of driving in 70 degree weather will solve 98% of your problems for the moment. Following this up with a bubble bath really doesn't hurt. I believe in a healthy dose of sensuality every once in a while (sensuality is not a dirty word...or it doesn't need to be) I also believe in soft skin.
-I had a slight revelation on this run. Sometimes, usually, if I really feel like kicking my butt, I will hear Jillian Michaels in my head toward the end of my run. My subconscious conjures her up and she yells at me...this is extremely motivating. She usually says, "Is that all you got?!?!" and I speak back to her in my mind...yes...I talk to myself and I say, "NO!!!" and I run harder.
This time was different. I had a thought come to my head, much like lyrics come when they come in full sentences or like a quote that is suddenly recalled to your memory. The thought was, "Run like life is propelling you forward (or like you are propelling it forward), not like it is weighing you down." I suddenly felt lighter and pushed harder than I thought I could. It became much easier to run in fact. I try to run with this mentality now. I think it's a good life principle though. Whether running, or just living. Propel forward, push forward, don't just hang in there and let your emotional backpack weigh you down. You can do it.
*nowplaying A Little Opera Goes A Long Way, Sky Sailing // "Pretend you're not alone, like you are center stage on Broadway. Cause when you're on your own, a little opera goes a long way."
Item #18: I had nothing to do all alone in Pocatello, ID the night before I finally got my car back. So I watched a DVD on Thomas S. Monson. I want to be more like him.
Item #19: I'm not complaining. Just putting that out there first. Boys have talent crushes on me. It happens. I'm just saying that I understand this lyric all too well: it's clear this conversation ain't doing a thing, cause these boys only listen to me when I sing--Sara Bareilles Putting yourself out there is hard. The pay off can mean the best thing that ever happened to you OR on the other end it can mean feeling vulnerable, disappointed and slightly broken--that is if you're blue like me. I wish the yellow in me applied to getting over someone. Why is it that sometimes (most of the time) people aren't on the same page? Once again, I'm not complaining. Maybe just musing on the reason for things. I'm sure there is a purpose in everything. I'm sure some of us are guarded for a time if it means becoming the person you need to be...if it means preparing to meet someone extremely important in your life... I don't know how to analyze my life up until now and the reasons for everything...cause I'm still in the process. But, I do know that I lost myself for a while. For various reasons. It was the boy that shattered my heart. It was the disconnect I then experienced with my heart and my body and my soul. It was the false beliefs from childhood that I never questioned that I needed to let go of. It was the lack of direction in my career. It was my lack of faith. It was the friend that chose to deceive. It was the illness that almost overtook my mom. It was the accident that almost took my sister. It was the barrier that I put up to keep that boy away and others who might also try to destroy my heart. But I chose to learn...if I can say anything for myself. I don't believe in wasted time... I believe in becoming better than you were. I believe in making the most out of every situation. I don't settle for mediocrity especially when it comes to my happiness and the goals I want to reach in life. It saddens me to see people who do. At the very least if you are struggling, or when I am struggling, I hold on to the fact that I will not allow myself to stay stagnant. Sometimes it feels that way for a while, but eventually you break through and you find yourself again. But...when it comes down to it, at the end of the day..it's a choice. This book was insightful for me during this process: Finding Peace, Joy and Happiness by Richard G. Scott. "The challenges we face, the growth experiences we encounter, should be like temporary scenes played out on the stage of continuing peace and happiness." "Your perspective is vital to your happiness. Some, blind to the bountiful opportunities around them, live lives of sadness and despair with brief moments of joy. Be alive to the abundant potential that surrounds you so that you live a life of peace and happiness with periods of challenging growth. Learn from inspiring individuals who have come to peace with their challenges and therefore live to find joy amid adversity."
I can't say if this is the reason that boys only listen to me when I sing...that I lost myself...so how would anyone else be able to find me, the real me. I don't recognize that person tagged in facebook photos over the past few years. I know it's me...but it wasn't me. I found myself again... The better me. And I have so much more to give now than I ever did. It's just the truth. That's all.
*nowplaying: we have now listened to 6 songs while I was typing that...For the Widows in Paradise, Sufjan Stevens; Dig With Me, Allie Moss; Corner, Allie Moss; Keep Breathing, Ingrid Michaelson; Someone For Everyone, Nikka Costa; Addiction Song, Jarrett Burns
now we're listening to The Hardest Part/Postcards from Far Away, Coldplay // "the hardest part was letting go, not taking part. you really broke my heart. and I tried to sing but I couldn't think of anything. that was the strangest start. I can feel it go down. You left the sweetest taste in my mouth. No silver lining in the cloud. Oh but I, oh yes I wonder what it's all about."
Item #20: I love new friends. I love new friends that feel like old friends. I'm excited about the future. I have a lot to focus on in the new couple of weeks. I'm wondering why I have a knot in my left shoulder and my muscles won't relax so I can sleep and food doesn't sound good and all I really want in my life right now is for my dream to come true and for John Mayer to really hold me all night and sing me to sleep. Come on John, I know you're on tour but...it's just one night. And then I realized that though I've been through the Noteworthy album production thing before--twice--this is a little more monumental...people have actually heard of us now. Some of these songs were sung on national TV. The exposure is awesome and it's really cool that ideas that came from my own head can be heard all over the country. But, it puts a little more pressure to be even more amazing. And then there was that one time I decided to actually put out, in a professional setting, my own songs that I wrote, that I arranged that I produced, that I played, that I sang...with my name on it...for anyone to have and judge and hopefully love but maybe hate. And it's my first real endeavor at this. And it's been a long, sometimes drudgerous (is that a word?) experience. And for the most part I would say it's been a lonely experience. And maybe that's for the best. Maybe that's what it should be. It's just really challenging playing the role of artist and producer and engineer and business manager and doing it all really for the first time on my own. And I think I'm just putting pressure on myself to be extraordinary right now. It's funny how you worry about something that inside you know you can do. So...body...if we could repair this sitch and you could just trust me...that would be great. I would like to sleep. And eat. But if not, at least the pay off will be that in two weeks I will go to San Jose and in three weeks I will walk away with the masters to two albums. And I will probably cry with joy. That will be a good feeling. I am looking forward to it.
So...that was a really long post. I will be amazed if anyone read it. If you did...drop me a line...I will make you cookies or give you several open-mouth kisses...j/k, but wouldn't that be "amaze-balls"??....Christopher (Mouth Off Show) understands me...okay it's just getting late now.
Until my next travels. Let's hope they're really mundane and meaningless.
*nowplaying Here Comes the Flood, Peter Gabriel // "lord here comes the flood, we'll say goodbye to flesh and blood. If again the seas are silent and any still alive. It'll be those who gave their island to survive. Drink up dreamers, you're running dry."