You + Me

We are sitting in the kitchen, finishing lunch. Chris has Spotify on while making lunch and we continued to listen as we finished the last bites of some amazing steamed and roasted veggies. A song came on and my eyes opened a bit wider. I have been in a bit of a music rut, and while we always have Spotify playing in the speaker in the house, it is rare that I get up to find out who someone might be. This time though I ask Chris to email me who it is. He tells me the artists are called: “You + Me.” Interesting name, and like I often fashion my handwriting e.e. cummings style, I also have a thing for + signs between words, oh and ellipses, and um ampersands.

In any case, as we finish our veggierama meal, we need to get dressed to head out to a friend’s house and as the song winds down, I say: “I really love her voice, she sounds a lot like Pink.” We get dressed, head out, and come home late and fall into bed. The next morning I look at the email Chris sent and am reminded of the song I liked so much and decide to research the band. The singer that sounded like Pink? It is Pink. Alecia Moore aka Pink teamed up with Dallas Green (love that name), a Canadian from the band City and Colour, with an acoustic album that came out in October 2014 called: rose ave (maybe they were channelling e.e. cummings)?

The song I heard via Spotify was called: “You and Me.” And in my normal relentless style, I proceed to listen to their entire album. I am hooked and wanted to share. Their other popular song is called: “Break the Cycle.” The few videos I found online show Pink entirely clothed. That seems to be quite a different trend for her. I am used to seeing her with barely anything on hanging and twirling down from the ceiling. Regardless of what she is wearing Pink is a badass. It reminds me of that actor/actress that you see in many different genres and they never play the same character. Each time they act they show you a different side of them, a reminder of their true talent.

As I listen to You + Me, I feel like I am on a farm, sitting on a southern porch swing, watching the wind blow. I am relaxed, and I feel at home.

Let me take a SELFIE

Spotify has made its way into our life. We use it at work, it plays in the kitchen while Chris cooks, or when we clean the house, and I have even used it when I cannot find anything I like on the radio while driving. The other day at work, I had the Top 100 hits on Spotify and it was cycling through different songs, and a new one came on I had not heard before. “#SELFIE” by The Chainsmokers. It is hilarious, and also a bit disturbing. Even so, it caught my attention immediately. Partly it is the beat and rhythm that keeps you interested. Well in that one-hit-wonder kind of way. When you really start to listen to the words, you might think differently. Here are a few:

Did you think that girl was pretty?
How did that girl even get in here?
Do you see her?
She’s so short and that dress is so tacky
Who wears Cheetah?

Can you guys help me pick a filter?
I don’t know if I should go with XX Pro or Valencia
I wanna look tan
What should my caption be?
I want it to be clever
How about “Livin’ with my bitches, hash tag LIVE”
I only got 10 likes in the last 5 minutes
Do you think I should take it down?

A selfie: a photo taken of oneself to post onto a social network. The self-portrait of our times, but one that is shared with a few people to millions or even a billions of followers (depending on who you are). I wonder though, why has it created such a phenomenon and almost cult following? Is it that we want to be seen, tell a story of what we did that day, however interesting or boring it may be, or are we becoming full of ourselves? I do not know the answer. Sure I have been known to post photos of myself, and sometimes they are selfies, but to what extent are we virtually (and I meant that literally) showing off? As the lyrics state: “I only got 10 likes in the last 5 minutes.” Is it more about how many people see us and like, comment, or whatever, or is it more about ourselves and the story we want to tell?

What do you think? Watch the video to enjoy a little dance party on your Friday.

Oh how I hate hold music.

How often do you call your cable company, or your credit card company and either have to listen to a zillion annoying little prompts to get to where you want to go, or you wait on the line for what feels like eternity only to listen to their hold music?

I can adamantly say that I have never once said to anyone: “Oh, xxxx company has the most amazing hold music.” Why is that? Why is waiting on hold to be helped so excruciatingly painful? Do they hope that most of us will hang up the phone out of boredom, anguish, and insanity and instead go online and send them an email? I try to do that as much as possible, but there are just certain things that need to be handled by a live person. I will give you a few examples:

_When your cable company (ahem, Comcast) continues to screw up your bill every month since you moved in 10 months ago. No email will ever be able to truly shed light on your true frustration, only duking it out with a live person will hopefully grant you the discounts and offers you deserve.

_Anything having to do with financial information, credit cards, and bank accounts should be handled online. Yes I am old school. I prefer a live person to mess up my account, then a live person behind an email. At least I can ask for my phone call to be escalated, and hopefully my phone call was “recorded for quality purposes.”

_You enjoy connecting with other people, making their day, and generally being the world’s nicest customer. I know a few people who fit that description, and they are the cream of the crop. If only we could have their patience.

I digress. This all started out being about hold music. I still do not understand why they have not invented hold music that connects you to Pandora or Spotify and lets you jam to your current selection. Maybe customer service representatives will find their customers happier, more patient, and generally not going insane by hearing the same song for the 37 minutes they waited on hold. Of course that song was interspersed with a few ads for lower interest rates, or how you could be saved money, with the additional message of how many other customers are in front of you in the queue.


Transported by a song?

We listened to music in the kitchen a lot this weekend. A song came on Spotify and instantly I was transported to October 2012, while on a run in my new neighborhood. We had yet to fix our treadmill after our move so I instantly got to know the homes and street in our neighborhood. The song that was constantly repeating on my iPhone while I ran? “Shine bright like a diamond” by Rihanna. When I hear that song, I instantly think of moving into our new home.

As I mixed ingredients to make cookies, my mind started to wander to other moments in my life when a song was on repeat so much that a specific event always brings a  song to my mind. I remembered a job I had almost 11 years ago. I was a recruiter at a staffing firm, and over and over was asked to lie to potential clients in order for the company to make the most money out of each placement. I would go to my car at lunch and cry. I would go home at the end of the day and cry. Honesty and integrity are the core of my identity, and I struggled so much to be me at this job. The song that was on repeat in my car, on the way to work, during lunch, and on my way home? “Clearest Indication” by Great Big Sea. Interesting that the title is Clearest Indication, could it be any clearer to me? Yes, it is about someone who has been left by another, but somehow I think it was what I needed to hear. I needed to leave, and I did.

Every time I hear the song “Always on my mind” by Pet Shop Boys, I think of my mom and my brother. I remember when my mom died in the hospital. On one day that week I was with my brother in his black Chevy Blazer and this was the song he had on repeat on his car CD player. If I remember correctly it was on repeat for weeks. I knew it was what he needed to hear as his heart ached at the loss of our mom. That song will always remind me of those days surrounding my mom’s death.

We all have songs that leave memories ingrained in our thoughts and hearts. It might have been the song playing when you met your life partner, or what you selected to play at your wedding, it might have been during that aha moment in your car when you made the decision of your life. Music impacts us sometimes in ways we do not even realize until we look back and ponder how we have been changed by it. 

My first half marathon

At the 9th mile

At the 9th mile

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon! I cannot believe I am actually saying this, but I enjoyed it. I was a bit emotional at the start line because my stomach was not agreeing with me. I was worried about that, as I do not usually run so early in the morning, but once I got started I was fine. There was a slight drizzle, and a cold 42 degrees, but as the minutes passed, the rain chilled out. I was definitely grateful for my Nike running jacket, to keep the moisture away and keep me warm.

stopped train...

stopped train…

The strange part about the race? Trains. Yes, trains. About 1/4 of the way through the race, all runners were stopped. We had to wait at least 10 minutes to wait for a cargo train that was STOPPED on the tracks. You know what it is like when you are in a car waiting at the train tracks for a train to move, then when it does it starts going slowly. Except it was freezing, drizzling, and we had just started our race. It was a bit unbelievable.

After passing the Finish Line. #pooped

After passing the Finish Line. #pooped

They have yet to post the times of the race. They said they would fix our times due to the train that stopped the race, so it is taking them longer. The clock said 2:02 when I crossed the Finish Line, so I believe my time was just over 1 hour and 50 minutes with the adjusted train time.

What would I do differently next time? Set up a play list so I would not have to scroll through Spotify on my iPhone while running.