What's with the name?

What's with the name? In my mid-twenties, I had essentially gone through one kind of life and am starting to enter another. The people that are probably going to read this blog know exactly what I'm talking about - but for those who don't know, here's a brief rundown . Cheers to Chapter 2! A journey in health in many ways, and to be the best version of myself I can possibly be. I am also a blogger for GreenMommas.com. This is my blog.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You can't get what you pay for, anymore

Apartment hunting continues, and it is (*sigh) entirely disappointing. I remember when I used to rent, it was not too long ago. Maybe 5 years or so. I remember a time where $1100 a month would get you a brand new, 3 floor condo with all the bells and whistles. So, what's happened between now and then? Seriously, what? In this search for apartments, $1100 seems to get you tiny rooms, a beat up kitchen and a few windows if you are lucky. Normally, this wouldn't be so frustrating for me. I can make a crappy apartment in to something better looking than it is with some nice furniture and wall art. But, this time around, I have to consider another person...my son. I find myself scrutinizing every inch of every apartment, thinking if it would be safe and acceptable for my precious little boy. None has passed that test yet. If he can't play in the yard (if there is a yard) without the risk of being hit by a car, it's not ok. If there are partying tenants on the second floor that are loud and prevent him from getting a good night's sleep, that's not ok. If I have to worry about the heating system crashing in the middle of the night because it's so darn old and I have to have a stack of comforters on hand just in case, that's not ok. You get where I'm going with this? I have to have really high standards for a place of living because I don't want where I decide to live to affect his quality of life. And it very surely can, in a good or bad way.

So that's where that stands. I may be insanely picky about my next dwelling but it's for a damn good reason.

Pretty exited about February, even if it does involve some moving. Really decent shows headed to Burlington, VT. Starting off with Lyrics Born, 2/2 at Metronome . Looking forward to seeing the New Deal for the first time on 2/4. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings bring their soulful funkiness back to higher ground on on 2/11. Big Gigantic, one of my favorite finds of last year will be in the Higher Ground Ballroom 2/17. If there is one I could recommend to you, you will not be disappointed in Big Gigantic. Music will encompass my February with some Valentine's day celebrations somewhere in the middle. You can get tickets for the HG shows here.

I have found two new tracks (well one is a remix) that I can't get enough of this week, see below :

Hot Chip - I Feel Better by HOTCHIP

Cold War Kids - Mine Is Yours (Passion Pit Remix) by Pretty Much Amazing

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ins and Outs of Moving Out

The apartment search is on, well full on. I have sent at least ten emails with only one legit response back. I did get two other responses, though. Surprisingly [or not] they were both from people out of town whose significant other was overseas doing charity work - so all the paperwork would have to be done via mail. Yea, right. I can't even see the apartment before I make a commitment and send out a check for it? No thanks. Why do people try to scam nice people looking for a nice place to live? It really gets me. But I very quickly learned that something that sounds even a little bit too good to be true, is. I have been through enough ridiculousness in my life to have to add this crap in to it.

Sorry, that was my brief craigslist rant. So, moving out. I have only been living in my current dwelling for about two years [take a few months]. I feel like I have accumulated so much stuff since then. This weekend I cleaned out, err...attacked, my closets. My "coat closet" was full of toys and shoes and miscellany that myself or my sister just didn't feel like putting away where it didn't belong. A few trash bags later and it only has coats, a few shoes and some dog food. At least stuff doesn't spill out of it when you open it, and it doesn't put up an honest fight when you shut it, hoping the hinges don't fly off the door in a frenzy. The closet upstairs was a whole other story. The closet is the length of the room, about 12' long by maybe 3' deep. The middle 4 ft were ok, but the sides of the closet were completely engulfed with stuff. Stuff I hadn't seen for at least a year. That took 2 hours, a stick of incense and 6 more trash bags to complete. It's done, and really organized.

One of the reasons that I like to move so often (at least once every 2 years for the last 8 years) is that I really have no choice but to purge things that I don't need. I really don't like the moving process, but I really enjoy getting a new space to set up and place everything neatly. I don't look forward to a very long day of lifting heavy things only to come back to a new place full of boxes, then passing out on just a mattress and a blanket of some sort because you're just too tired to even set the bed up. But when I wake up the next morning THAT's what I look forward to. Waking up, next to someone I love, that I'm starting a new adventure with. Sorting through stuff and creating a space that we can call home. I really like that feeling.

With an open mind, we are venturing to look at the first apartment today. We'll see how it goes. Although there may be boxes and u-hauls and more trash bags in my very near future, there is definitely a very exiting adventure that awaits. A new life of sorts.

Speaking of new and different, apparently this is a return of some sorts for Yelle. Even though I can't understand but 3 words, I can't help but to enjoy the pop bubbly sound of it.

Safari Disco Club by YELLE

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What am I Listening To?

It's time for a post about music, I think. I'm not going to comment about albums or try to get in depth with song meanings. I just wanted to post a few things I am really digging at this moment. What I listen to in the car or at work, so I can look back on it in a few years and probably have a good laugh. My music tastes are pretty eclectic. I listen to a lot of different genres and sub-genres. I've been more in to electronic stuff lately, mostly because it gets me through the work day without falling asleep.

Week two, no caffeine. I've shot a few envious looks when my co-workers walk by with their third or fourth cup of the day. It really makes me think about how people try to quit stuff thats really addicting, like smoking. It's not even that I was addicted to coffee, it was just part of my routine. I liked the taste of that agave vanilla latte or mid-afternoon diet soda. I find myself thinking often "gee, wouldn't a coffee be nice right now?" But I'm fighting the urge. I think ultimately I will probably allow myself a coffee like once a week as a special treat. I just needed to get off the 'every morning latte' reality.

Anyway, some music.

Afrojack is a little new to me. I hear a few tracks here and there. I love 'Replica', probably because there is some Daft Punk, MGMT and Kid Cudi in there. I could do without the Katy Perry. Perhaps my favorite part of this mix is the french [unknown to me] lady singer backed by MGMT's 'Kids'. Have a listen, it's fun:

Afrojack - Replica (DG Edit) by danielgoldstein10

I just bought Skrillex's new release, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. While I'm still undecided if I really love listening to the album in it's entirety [it's a lot of hard bass and dubstep], I like each track as an individual. While the title track is probably my favorite, 'Rock n' Roll (Will Take You to the Mountain)' is a close second, and pretty fun.

Skrillex - Rock N Roll Will Take You To The Mountain by djkkkdre

On the other hand, deadmau5 I can listen to all day, everyday. He has brought really great techno to the masses. His shows are nothing short of amazing., I would've just paid for the light show - youtube it. His latest release, 4X4=12 is nothing short of what I would have expected from the mind of Joel Zimmerman. I recommend the continuous mix of the album, but if I had to break it in to tracks I like 'Raise Your Weapon' or as I call it "the softer side of deadmau5".

09-deadmau5 - raise your weapon (feat. greta svabo bech) by Dj Fuma

Breaking away from the electronic [it's not all I listen to], here are a few of my new favorites. Aloe Blacc's 'I Need a Dollar' I actually heard for the first time as a Big Gigantic remix. He has a wonderful voice and a modesty about him. I saw him perform this song on Jimmy Fallon Live with the Roots backing his soft, sincere vocals.

Aloe Blacc - I Need A Dollar by smithblogsatlanta

And speaking of soulful, here's a new track from Adele. I don't need to say anything about it, the song says it all. If I was this creative and passionate in the aftermath of a break-up, I'd do it more often [OK no I wouldn't].

Adele - Rolling In The Deep by GlobalGrind

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Laundry List of How Not to Grow Old

I went to my local music hot spot on Saturday night. Well, at least the one that's only about a quarter mile from my house in Essex. Noah and I go there often, because they always have some spunky cover band and it's a place to grab a drink very close to my dwelling. But there is a definite other reason that we stop in time after time : people watching. Let's just say we bring the median age down when we walk in the door. It's pretty reminiscent of a Class of Late 80's high school reunion. There is something enjoyable about watching the different ways people dance and the kick they get out of music hits from their time, all while under the influence of alcohol. There is no lack of feathered bangs, light wash denim on denim and Stetson hats. Most people seemed to have updated there styles but there is no hiding "the parents have a night out" looks on some faces. Others seem to be there looking for post-divorce hook-up, pounding the beers and letting the lack of inhibition take a hold of their dancing skills as the slowly close in on equally single looking partner. But then there are couples who just look like they will be perfectly happy slow dancing just like they used to, every Saturday night, for the remainder of their lives. That's the cute part to watch. The couples that seemed to have enjoyed dancing with each other for at least a decade or two.

Besides feeling young and being slightly out of place just because of my age, this local night spot makes me think of how I do or do not want to grow old. I have compiled a rough mental list of things I definitely need to take in to account as I grow older.

*Those clothes you wore 10 or 20 years ago won't work for you now, turn them in to a vintage clothing store so a new generation of youngsters can be fashionable wearing them.

*If you're going to wear jeans, especially out, make sure they actually fit and flatter you. Actually, this goes for any bit of clothes.

*A good undergarment can really make or break how you look (I've really always thought this was the staple to looking good, especially for a women).

*Keep your long hair as long as it looks youthful, not dry and old. Hair length on women seems to get shorter as age goes up, but I've always interpreted long locks as attractive and alluring, as long as it's well taken care of.

*Most importantly, don't stop caring about your appearance. Even if you are dedicated to one person for many years it's still important to look attractive to them, regardless of what age you are.

*Don't start listening to an "oldies" station just because you enjoy the hits of your generation. People are making good music, all the time, and everyone can listen to it.

Those are a rough set of rules I have compiled in my head. They are much more to do with not looking old than not feeling old. I'm working on the "not feeling old" part by giving up caffeine, getting more sleep and staying active. I guess we have to all grow old some time, but there are definitely people that do it more gracefully than others. I want to be in that group.

On to the song, er...the track. Proving you can do a great remix of an already great song is A-Trak with his cut of Robyn's Indestructible

Robyn - Indestructible (A-Trak Remix) by A-Trak

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Clashing of Priorities

This has been an interesting few days. I announced to my roommate, who is also my sister, that I would be moving out. This unfortunately means that she too would have to move out. In a flash my exiting announcement about moving on to the next chapter of my life was turned in to a petty battle about what we don't like about each other. About 50 texts later we haven't talked in two days, mostly because she accuses me of being different when I have a man in my life, and I have little respect for the people she keeps around in her life that tend to  stick around because of the more material benefits they get out of the relationship. It's been rough, but I think that we have completely different priorities in life that keep us from agreeing on how our life should or shouldn't be.

Having a child forever changes you. Suddenly you are no longer the most important person in your life and the life you have created takes that place. My priority in the past year and a half that we've been roommates has been to get financially back on my feet enough so that I could have a place that was more stable for my son. That was the intention all along. Unfortunately, I am living with a 23 year old girl that has lots of girlfriends that like to go out and have fun. One of them pretty much stays there 7 days a week. This is not really any sort of stable living situation or an environment I intended to raise my child in. I think everyone dreams about a home with a white picket fence with a nice yard where the kids can play and you can have BBQs on the porch. A communal living situation was not my dream, just more of the only option. Not to say I didn't like living with my sister. I love my sister, even though there is strife between us now I still will always love and appreciate her. Our living styles and priorities are completely different, I respect that, so now is a good time to part ways and be on our own. It makes me sad that she interprets it as not caring about her. It is because I care about our relationship that I am doing this now. So we can each create our different scenarios that we call our lives. My priorities are no longer going out and having a good time with the girls, they are to find my future. Not to say I don't go out and have a great time sometimes, I do. It's just not what completely defines my life. Fighting is silly. You never know how much time you may have here, and I'm hoping love and peace will eventually take hold on this crazy situation.

But the next part of my living situation I am exited about, even though it's caused this rift. A solid unit of myself, my son and Noah. Cooking dinner together, having fun, having control over who comes and goes in the place. It is a good time in my life, one I've been waiting a long time for. I am really confident in this next step.

I am also confident that you will like the track. My favorite track from Daft Punk's "Tron : Legacy" soundtrack. The whole soundtrack is wonderful, it's unfortunate that this track is a little short.

Daft Punk-Derezzed by klauschen

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Bad, The Good and the De-caffeination

I love lattes, it's no secret. The cafe at work makes some good ones, flavored with agave vanilla mmmm. In the new year I'm on this "getting healthier" kick. I want to live a long life and enjoy all life has to offer me. That means getting rid of some of the bad (not all I can't give up Cosmos), and doing some more good for myself. I have come to the decision to finally quit caffeine. I should be getting my energy from a good night's sleep and good food anyway. I'm three days in, and it's not too bad. I do feel a little more sluggish than usual but I think I need to catch up from some sleep I lost New Year's Eve weekend. It's proven a little difficult when I have to walk past Speeder and Earl's twice a day and I can smell the deliciousness. But hopefully I will maintain a decaf lifestyle.

So why,  you ask, can I not give Cosmos up? If you don't know, a cosmo (or cosmopolitan) is a lady's martini, maybe the official Sex and the City drink? Vodka, triple sec (or Cointreau if it's a really delicious one), cranberry juice and some lime. Already delicious just like that, I make 'em at home that way. Thursdays Noah and I have our little "night out" and unwind for the end of the week. Our ritual is hang out at Drink : he has $2 pints of Switchback and I indulge in their wonderfully awesome "Candy Cosmo", and we exchange that week's story with the bartender. I know what you're thinking, how could a Cosmo get better? Well it does. They have a selection of infused vodkas there, even a Jolly Rancher infused one...that's what goes in the "Candy Cosmo". I can't give those up. It's not so much the taste and the effect of the alcohol. It's more of the quality unwind time I get to spend with him and get out in to Burlington world and hang out with people my own age. It's when I can relax and let my identity of being a mom float out of the picture for a few hours. It's my sanity, really. Drink Thursdays. [Don't worry I share 50% custody of my son with his dad, although I have seen a few people bring their kids in to a bar in my over 21 lifetime].

That's my indulgenece. I am trying to pick and choose them wisely, but Drink Thursday is one I just can't part with. We all need a little, or sometimes a lot of fun. Caffeine is one of those things that is probably wise and not too hard for me to give up. Here's an indulgence for you:

"And it's alright
It's alright
Bright lights and the big city
It belongs to us tonight

Yes I need it
Everybody does
Cocktails and conversation
Music and making love"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Wedding, A New Year and an Angel in a White Nissan

It's January 2nd, 2011. Another year has gone by in that fast blowing wind we call time. This year my boyfriend (Noah) and I made the trek down to Long Island because he was shooting a wedding on New Year's Eve. He's a hard worker. Eight hours in the car to photograph a wedding for my sister's good friend. This was my first wedding I've attended since my own, which went surprisingly well for me. Single me used to cry at weddings. Newly divorced me cried at weddings on television. But the healed me just kind of smiled and thought about the new union these people were taking on as they said their vows to eachother. Something in me was happy for them to have found each other. It probably reminded me of how lucky I was to find a new and strong love of my own - something entirely different than I've had before. I smiled a lot that day, even though I played assistant to whoever I could in the wedding party.

New Year's Eve was not all business. We left the reception to head west of NYC to Monclair, NJ to see Passion Pit play what they said was their "last show for awhile". Good, I would be delighted to see a new album or even EP from these guys. A short story about the troubles of a GPS: Going though a tunnel going past the city, the GPS lost our global position. Exiting the tunnel, not 100 feet away was a three way fork, each labeled with equally confusing signs that sounded not at all familiar to me. So I went straight, which ended up being staight in to New York City, at about 8pm on new year's eve. I fought back panic as I navigated 32nd street seeing the signs for "Broadway" and "9th ave", amidst throngs of pedestrians, whistle blowing police, and pissed off taxi cabs. No time to look for Ben Bailey here, just had to get the heck out of there, fast. Fifteen minutes later we entered the Lincoln tunnel and I made my flee to the New Jersey turnpike bordering a small heart attack. We survived, the police have a good handle on things there.

On to the show. Slick Rick was supposed to open but we learned from friends that were already at the show that Slick Rick had canceled, and a band named Man Man (no joke) was going to open. We made no attempt to rush to the show and called a cab around 9pm to head there from the hotel. Fifteen minutes and a really sketchy cab ride later we made it to the Wellmont Theater. Some dude was playing his iPod on a completely random mix in lieu of Slick Rick. But that was the better of the openers. Man Man came on. In a very painful 45 min I watched the train wreck that was Man Man. A really messed up front man with cut off jean shorts who repeatedly changed his shirt from sailor striped crew to a green glitter tunic. A few drummers who completely covered up the one electric guitar. And they all had mics, actually screaming in to them in unison at multiple times in one song. At one point the bartender told me that the band was making it hard to do her job because she couldn't hear anything. Train wreck. The best parts of the set were the breaks in between songs. But Passion Pit redeemed Man Man with an incredible set of the full Manners album. "Little Secret" was played just after midnight with a perfect rendition of "Sleepyhead" closing the set. There was even a Cranberries cover. They were wonderful. Confetti filled the plaster ceiling venue with much delight to the crowd, and myself as I got some New Year's kisses. Wonderful night. See closing number below (at least someone had a good camera, not I).

Leaving the venue with 4 other friends we decided to split up to find a taxi. I called two taxi services, who each had over an hour wait. Four miles to the hotel, wandering along aimlessly with no jacket in 30 degree weather. I had my mind set that we were walking back. This was not like Church street in Burlington where there were cabs waiting everywhere with nothing to do. As I was Google-mapping walking directions to the hotel, imaging how I was going to keep warm for an hour and a half, when an unmarked white Nissan pulled up to us and rolled down the window. She mumbled something to Noah asking if we were from a completely different hotel, he replied no, but she told us to get in anyway, she would take us to our hotel. I thought, what great luck this is. Three hours in to 2011 and we get a one in one hundred taxi ride back to the hotel.

I hope this is foretelling of the new year. Good luck, to good people like us. Given the craziness of of new year's eve drive through NYC, a terrible opening band...but then a great band, great set and an angel in a white Nissan. Good things are to come this year, I can feel it.

I leave you with my favorite Pretty Lights track...

Pretty Lights - Final Countdown LIVE Mix - Vic Theatre Chicago 2009/10 by inxsingh

Confetti drops in the Wellmont Theater - Montclair, NJ