Running: An Exploration of Ego and Musical Landscapes

I’ve always enjoyed running.  I can’t really go so far as to say I love it.  It’s more realistic to call it a love/hate relationship.  Some of the reasons it’s pleasurable are also the reasons it can be miserable.  You never win at it really.  You can always go farther.  Or faster.  But it’s reliable.  It’s that friend who meets you every morning with an encouraging gesture and a boost to your ego only to kick you to the curb in 45 minutes when she’s had her fill of your company.  It’s hard more times than it’s easy, but yet I keep coming back.  Because every once in a while you have a day where you do win.  You set a challenge for yourself and then kill it.  And it’s enjoyable and almost, dare I say it, fun.  Today was one of those days.  Maybe it was a good night of sleep or maybe it was the fact that my playlist just kicked ass, but I had a great run.  I launched head on into my day ready to conquer the entire world.

So I thought I’d share my playlist for today.  Because running aside and second only to my husband and dog,  is my love for music (if you’re not a consistent reader of this blog).  Anything good is made great with a soundtrack.  Life needs it and running, at least for me anyway, damn near requires it.    Maybe you can tie up your sneaks and take it for a test drive; universe willing, you too will have an awesome run.

*Small disclaimer, some days I run to a created playlist I’ve painstakingly curated, but mostly I hit shuffle and go where the musical road may lead.  Today was a shuffle kinda day and as you’ll soon see (again, if you’re not a consistent reader of this blog), my musical tastes are all over the highway.

The Cult- Coming Down (1994)

Origene- Sanctuary (2003)

Metallica-  For Whom the Bell Tolls  (1984)

The Limousines- Undercover  (2013)

Ted Nugent-  Motor City Madhouse (1975)

Foo Fighters-  Dear Lover (1997)

Nirvana- Downer (1989)

Full Service- Greetings (2013)

Band of Skulls-  Wanderluster (2012)

Joe Jackson-  Breaking Us in Two (1982)

Dropkick Murphys-  I’m Shipping Up to Boston (2005)

Perry Farrell-  100 Ways (1996)

Goldfinger-  My Girlfriend’s Shower (1996)

Dirty Projectors-  Two Doves (2009)

The Inmates-  Dirty Water (1979)

Cypress Hill-  How I Could Just Kill a Man (1991)

Leftfield-  A Final Hit (2005)

The Four Tops-  I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) (1965)

Douglas Armour-  The Whole World (2008)

The White Stripes-  Hotel Yorba (2001)


Happy trails and tunes!  Let me know how your run went.

Stay positive and love your life.


Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday: Doc Martens, Flannel, and Angst (or me as a teen)

So today Jen Kehl and crew over Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday asked for the 5 songs that made us who we are!  Well folks, I’ve already done this post!  And since I had a work lunch today, that’s very fortunate for me (as I have zero writing time)!  Go check out the Five Albums (with corresponding favorite songs) that defined my teenage years because, let’s face it, our teenage years have a HUGE influence on who we become.

Five for Friday: 5 Albums That Defined My Teenage Years.



Those 5 albums yielded this…..yikes.


Stay positive & love your life!





Listening to:  Naked Eyes – Always Something There To Remind Me


Trifextra: Here We Are Now, Entertain Us

One left the spotlight,

One was soon gone,

One found others and the music lives on.

Your angst and feedback scored my perplexing teenage world,

Seattle’s sons your influence remains powerful and bold.


This week’s Trifextra challenge provided yet another opportunity to do a Nirvana post:

This weekend we’re asking for 33 of your own words about a famous trio. The trio could be from literature, from history or from pop culture. Just make it yours and have fun with it. Good luck!

Seriously, you thought I’d pick another trio?

100 Word Song: Lovebuzz

So this week Lance (and Leeroy) over at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog selected a song by one of my favorite groups, Nirvana.  As I’ve mentioned numerous times, Nirvana was the first real (you can’t count stuff like NKOTB) band for which I ever fell.  Man did I fall hard.  And then Kurt set me up for the okie-doke.  Just as quickly as they captured my heart, they were gone.  Well, the music lived on, but it is only a memory.  As each year passes and these albums, the soundtrack of my youth, ages, I’m reminded of all the music we all must have missed out on due to Kurt’s early curtain call.

It is that quick change in a person (though the signs are always there if we look) that inspires today’s 100 word story based on Nirvana’s cover of “Lovebuzz” from their album Bleach.  One minute you’re riding high and the next you’re left looking back wondering what happened.  Is there anything to undo what’s been done; erase today’s problems and capture some of yesterday’s sunshine?


He glanced at the clock.  11:43 PM

“Here we go again,” he sighed. 

He turned off the TV and made his way to bed, ready to crawl into his side.  Her side wouldn’t be occupied until, well, who knew what time she’d stumble in.  Though he wasn’t surprised anymore, it still stung.  She’d just changed, completely.

The bedroom door creaked open slowly.

“Daddy?” a soft voice whispered.

“Yes sweetheart?”

“I had a bad dream,” she stammered through sniffles.  “Where’s Mommy?”

“Crawl up here and go to sleep, little queen of my heart.  She’ll be here when you wake.”

He hoped.


Stay positive & love your life!



Listening to:  Arctic Monkeys – Snap Out Of It

Eating:  Salad and pasta

Drinking:  So much water

Random fact:  I have a lot more bad dreams as an adult than I ever had as a kid.  I suppose the knowledge of all the scarey things in life fuels the dream machine.

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears? Volume 2

Since it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a nice, long rant, today felt like the time to break one out.   Well, that and one of the items on this list occurred this morning on the way to work.  Cue internal rant in my car!  So I might as well pass the frustration on to you, dear readers.  On my last You Know What Really Grinds My Gears? post, I merely scratched the surface!  There are a plethora of pet peeves about which to bitch over many more posts!  Today I bring you three particularly annoying gear grinders.  Get ready to roll your eyes and shake your head with me!


Egregious spelling and grammar errors.

Yes, I know that I’m far from perfect, and I’m quite sure that when I look back on this post later, I’ll find several errors.  You simply never catch everything when you self-edit.  But every day, without fail, I see stuff on the internet that boggles the mind.  How exactly does one make it out of elementary school without knowing how to spell basic words?  In what grade is the use of an apostrophe taught?  I don’t know if these people just didn’t pay attention, really are that stupid, or simply just don’t give a shit.


Look at this.  Someone actually took the time to photoshop this gem.  Oh wait, it was SwagtoStrong;  yeah, I guess I’m not so shocked. 


For the love of all things holly holy, please stop breathing.


That would involve quite a bit of hiding.


I want this book and I don’t.  I would just sit and roll into a tight ball of anxiety.

Bottom line, I do judge you.  Shit, I judge myself.  But you likely really don’t care about the eye daggers I’m throwing your way, so it’s a moo point.

*A moo point is the point of a cow.  It doesn’t matter; it’s moo.


People who back into parking spaces.

This is the morning occurrence that sent my rant stream a runnin’.  I can’t handle these people.  If you’re one of them, I ask you, why?  Why are you such an ass clown that you feel it’s perfectly acceptable to cause the people lined up behind you to have to wait on you?  Are you aware that you’re causing delays for others while you back in your ginormous SUV?  No, of course you don’t, because you don’t give two shits about anyone else.  What’s that?  Oh, it makes it more convenient and quicker when you leave?  Seriously, why do you need to leave in such a hurry anyway?  You take two to three times as long to park to save yourself from backing out later.  That makes total sense.

One of my first jobs was writing parking tickets on my college campus.  It was such a jerky job and I did feel like an asshole on a daily basis.  The only saving grace was that on our campus it was illegal to back into a spot.  Boy, when I’d see a car parked like that, I’d almost sprint to write out the ticket.



Phillip Phillips

This guy, whew.

So today is the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s In Utero album.  If that doesn’t paint a stark contrast between music in the 90s and music today, I don’t know what does.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of talented musicians releasing music every day, but there is also a lot more crap than ever before.  This turd falls into the second category.

1.  His name is stupid.  I know, I know, his parents are to blame for that.  But seriously, nice name Johnny Johnson.

2.  He hasn’t a clue what HIS musical style is.  He’s quite adept at ripping off Dave and Mumford and Sons, but I have zero clue what his deal is.  The first time I heard his increably overplayed hit, I thought, “Hmmm.  This Mumford and Sons song sounds a lot more commercial than their other stuff.  Wait a second…”

3.  I catch myself singing, “I’m gonna make this place my home.  ohhh ohhh oh oh oh shit, not again.”  That damn song is on at least 20 different commercials.  They play it at my gym every single morning.  I have my ipod to save me from hearing it there (seeing the video is offensive enough), but I can’t go an entire day and hope to completely escape it.


Here he is not caring about my opinion and cashing his American Family Insurance checks. 



So there you have it.  What do you think?  Are you a backwards parker?  Do you loose sleep over the spelling errors of other’s?  See what I did there? Did you found the Phillip Phillips fan club?  Let me hear it!


Stay positive & love your life!





Listening to:  X Ambassadors – Litost

Eating:  Veggie burger and lima beans.  It’s seriously time to go to the grocery store.

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  In Utero is my favorite Nirvana album.  Also, I’ve never drunk pennyroyal tea.  Yeah, I just looked up whether drunk or drank is the past participle of drink.  Drunk is correct and drank is now considered acceptable.  The more you know…..




Five for Friday: 5 Albums That Defined My Teenage Years

As I’ve mentioned again and again, I am a HUGE music lover. So many of the pleasures in my life have a musical tie-in and all of my memories have a soundtrack.  Read a previous post about that here.

Today I’m focusing on my teenage years. This is when my own, true musical tastes started to develop. It was no longer my parents music or a boy band (NKOTB for me), it was real music. It was for me and my generation. It was about life and its ups and downs. Most importantly, it was about rock-n-roll. Alternative rock was THE music of the 90s. And most of the bands I obsessively follow today planted their musical roots in the CD boombox of my tiny childhood room.   90s rock still excites me. The only thing that was hard about making this list was leaving albums off. I felt like I was leaving some friends behind. Because these bands/albums were/are like friends.

As kids, Dustin and I continually added to our shared CD collection with every cent of each week’s allowance. Each album below was part of that collection.

Number 5  Soundgarden- Superunknown 1994

This was the first CD I remember listening to obsessively.  I listened to it every morning while getting ready for school.  I sang the songs while I washed dishes after dinner. I listened to it on my Discman as I fell asleep.    I loved every single song.   I still adore this album.  I finally got to see them live two years ago at Voodoo Fest.  Chris Cornell still has the magic.  That voice.  Fave song:  “Like Suicide”.


Number 4 Live- Throwing Copper 1994

This album has so many happy memories tied to it.  My best friend Andi and I had our first “real” boyfriends who were also best friends.   And the four of us would hang out and cruise town in their pick-ups trucks (this was Branford, so there was little else to do).  It seemed like everyone had this album playing.  Hard to pick a fave on this one,  but …….Fave song:  “Selling the Drama”.


Number 3 Pearl Jam- Ten 1991

I actually owned this one on tape first.  To make it worse, it was a tape I bought at a flea market for a few bucks.  I discovered it was a bootleg copy upon returning to the car.

I had a really hard time choosing between this and Vs. (my favorite PJ album), but this album was likely the first alt-rock album I fell in love with; so it had to win out.  I remember my Mom saying that I wouldn’t think Eddie Vedder was cute if he weren’t a musician.  Well he is a musician and a brilliant one at that, so it’s a moot point.  Fave song:  “Evenflow”.


Number 2  311- Blue Album 1995

Oh 311.  More than any other band in the world, my love for this band has endured.  Actually, I’ve grown to love them more and more as the years have gone by.  This was the album that introduced me to them (I later went back and caught up on Grassroots and Music).  The first time I heard “Down” I thought, “What in the world is this? I effing love it.”  And the rest was history.  Fave song:  “Sweet” or “Hive”


Number 1  Nirvana- In Utero 1993

Only one band could ever dethrone 311 in any of my countdowns.  Nirvana was the first band with which I was completely absorbed.   I bought every shirt and every poster.  I read every article and learned everything I possibly could about these guys.  And when Kurt died, I wore black (with my friend Laura…Hi Laura, I know you’ll be reading this).  I was seriously in mourning.  It felt like a huge blow.  It’s amazing the bond that music creates.  To feel such loss over a person you’ve never known in real life because you feel as if you knew them personally is wild.

“In Utero” barely edged out “Nevermind” because I felt like I had to choose one.  Really they both should be listed.  The most definitive band of my youth.  Hands down.  Fave song:  “All Apologies”


And the inevitable Honorable Mentions:

Alice In Chains- Dirt  1992  Fave song:  “Down in a Hole”

Stone Temple Pilots- Core  1992  Fave song:  “Wicked Garden”

Red Hot Chili Peppers- Blood Sugar Sex Magik 1991  Fave song:  “Give It Away”

Alanis Morissette- Jagged Little Pill  1995 Fave song:  “Hand in My Pocket”

The Offspring- Smash 1994  Fave song: “Bad Habit”

What were the most influential albums of your teen years?

Stay positive & love your life!



Listening to:  Weezer – The Good Life – Live at Y100 Sonic Session

Eating:  Leftover pesto and veggie pasta

Drinking:  Blue Monster

Random fact:  Smash reminds me of my cousins Becky and Mandy and my Uncle Bruce.  I remember being up in Ohio for a summer visit and him blasting it through the house.  And more recently, the song “Bad Habit” always reminds me of Kasi and Amy because we loved shouting the rant in the middle!