Tuesday, December 30, 2008

HS Thingie

This was sent via DAB's blog.. I couldn't resist :)

Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!! REPOST with name of high school and graduating year in the subject box.

1. Did you date someone from your school? Yes

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? No.

3. Did you car pool to school? No. I usually had to be there REAL early and my mom was the only one dumb enough to drive me :) Well, she kinda had to.

4. What kind of car did you have? Buick.

5.What kind of car do you have now? Celica.

6. Its Friday night...where were you? Either playing at a football game, or watching movies with my group, or dancing later in high school.

7. It is Sat night...where are you? Same as Friday minus the football game.

8 What kind of job did you have in high school? I worked at Domino’s, Pizza Inn and Albertsons.

9. What kind of job do you do now? International Advisor at a Berklee College of Music.

10. Were you a party animal? Depends.

11. Were you considered a flirt? Yes.

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? Band baby.

13. Were you a nerd? No.

14. Did you get suspended or expelled? No.

15. Can you sing the fight song? Never knew it. I just knew the clarinet parts or how to direct it.

16. Who was/were your favorite teacher(s)? Senior year? Mr. Verdon, Mrs. Pittman.

17. Where did you sit during lunch? The Commons when we had it, then the lunch room.. usually with my group.. band people and otherwise.

18. What was your school's full name? Grapevine HS.

19. When did you graduate? 1988.

20. What was your school mascot? Grapevine = The Mustangs.

21. If you could go back and do it again, would you? Yes, even though a lot of it was painful.

22. Did you have fun at Prom? Definitely. One of the highlights.

23. Would you talk to the person you went to Prom with? Yup – still do and I’m blessed.

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? Just did.. depends on when the next one is.

25. Do you still talk to people from school? Many.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Boys in the Top Again!

From HallandOates.com:

Hall & Oates number 15 in Billboard's Hot 100 most successful artist list

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Billboard has compiled a list of the most successful Billboard Hot 100 chart artists from the past 50 years. Hall & Oates are listed at Number 15!

From Billboard.com:

The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists

The definitive list of the Hot 100's top 100 artists, based on all charting titles from August 1958 through July 2008.

How were Billboard's 50th Anniversary Hot 100 song and artist charts determined? Read the FAQ.

01. The Beatles
02. Madonna
03. Elton John
04. Elvis Presley
05. Stevie Wonder
06. Mariah Carey
07. Janet Jackson
08. Michael Jackson
09. Whitney Houston
10. The Rolling Stones
11. Paul Macca/Wings
12. Bee Gees
13. Chicago
14. The Supremes
15. Daryl Hall & John Oates

Friday, December 5, 2008

Love is a Verb

Brandon Boyd of Incubus

Only Brandon could come up with that lyric.. I heard this yesterday and I love it so much.. works for today.

"Here In My Room"

This party is old and uninviting
Participants all in black and white
You enter in fullblown technicolor
Nothing is the same after tonight

If the world would fall apart
In a fiction worthy wind
I wouldn't change a thing
Now that you're here

Yeah, love is a verb here in my room
Here in my room, here in my room

You enter and close the door behind you
Now show me the world as seen from the stars
If only the lights would dim a little
I'm weary of eyes upon my scars

Pink tractor beam into your incision
Head spinning as free as dervishs' whirl
I came here expecting next to nothing
So thank you for being that kind of girl
That kind of girl

You can see the video here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Support and Make a Difference

The email below is from one of my best friends and influential marketing professor at Berklee College of Music. Even if you don't pass the link along, watch it.. one of the most inspiring videos you will see.

Earlier this week fifty of my marketing students launched a grassroots
campaign to help land two professors, vocalist Donna McElroy and pianist
Jetro da Silva, a performance of "America the Beautiful" at the
Presidential Inauguration this January.

In support of the required application to perform filed with the Armed
Services Inaugural Committee, the students uploaded a video to YouTube of
Professors McElroy and da Silva performing a stirring rendition of the
anthem at Roger Brown's 2004 inauguration.

The students’ strategy is to increase the probability of the link reaching
the President-elect or his 'right-hand ears' by using the same tools and
tactics used by Obama to win the election.

After the federal filing and YouTube upload, students are now rolling out
email, social networks, public relations, phone and word-of-mouth efforts
to draw attention to the performance video on YouTube.

You can watch the video here.

Please know this is not political commentary - it is a request to help
seize a golden opportunity that benefits faculty, students and the College
no matter the outcome. The Inaugural booking decisions will not be made
until mid-December at the earliest so we have time to build momentum.

If you are willing, please pass the link along to your contacts.

Again, the video.

Thanks very much for your consideration.


Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Been a While..

I've been thinking about writing for weeks now, but haven't been sure what to write. I'm kinda taking my life a bit less public for a bit, just for a change. It actually feels a bit odd in a way.. most people know everything about my life, but I also learned from over the summer that sometimes it's best to keep personal things personal for a bit. It's a cool experiment and I'm seeing that both ways work.

October was pretty much a whirlwind. I traveled just about every weekend for different things--some planned some not. But that's what it is to live life. I'm always complaining about not seeing people as much as I'd like, but I do have to tell you all that traveling in October had me fairly tired. Not to mention that I was still working and was deep into my Paralegal program (which is going great by the way!).

With all that being said, I'm still inside this context of "life is passing me by." Sometimes I think it's not the best thing for me to be on Facebook all the time, as I see just about 300 people's lives and what they are doing every 5 minutes. I continually say: "wow, that would be great to do, or visit," etc. But I'm not in action about doing new things or being proactive in getting together with people. Or at least I wasn't.

I do have to say I miss so many of my friends. Many of my close friends are all over the country. I am blessed to have them in my life, but I long to see them. As I just went to my 20th High School reunion last month, I really got to see first hand how much "old friends" are a part of my life and my heart.. seeing that those times include substantial growth, it's understandable that the bonds are fairly strong. So not only did I see people I haven't seen in 10 or even 20 years, there are some that I'm still in contact with and consider my best friends. Being able to hang out with them most of the weekend was needed and extraordinary. Great conversations were had; bonds were strengthened.

I think I need to find out what will fulfill me--not necessarily what will make me happy, but what will have me making the difference I want to make in the world, while making me happy. I miss playing my clarinet, miss friends, miss leading at Landmark. There's so many things that I think it's time to just get them all down on paper and create a plan. I also just realized, this would be a great time to start thinking about 2009 and what to create. It usually takes me forever and/or I never finish my outlook for the year. Maybe that should be my resolution for the year: creativity and inspiration. Pretty cool :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chopra on Palin

I'm posting this everywhere I know. Thanks to a good friend, I got this and it brought tears to my eyes. It was something I really needed to hear/read and makes a lot of sense. No matter what camp you are in, it's worth a read.

Please pass this along on your own blogs, discussion boards and email.

Taken from The Huffington Post.

Obama and the Palin Effect
by Deepak Chopra

Sometimes politics has the uncanny effect of mirroring the national psyche even when nobody intended to do that. This is perfectly illustrated by the rousing effect that Gov. Sarah Palin had on the Republican convention in Minneapolis this week. On the surface, she outdoes former Vice President Dan Quayle as an unlikely choice, given her negligent parochial expertise in the complex affairs of governing. Her state of Alaska has less than 700,000 residents, which reduces the job of governor to the scale of running one-tenth of New York City. By comparison, Rudy Giuliani is a towering international figure. Palin's pluck has been admired, and her forthrightness, but her real appeal goes deeper.

She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of "the other." For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don't want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind. (Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making a verbal play out of the fact that Sen. Obama is black. The shadow is a metaphor widely in use before his arrival on the scene.) I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin's message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision.

Look at what she stands for:

--Small town values -- a denial of America's global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.

--Ignorance of world affairs -- a repudiation of the need to repair America's image abroad.

--Family values -- a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don't need to be heeded.

--Rigid stands on guns and abortion -- a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.

--Patriotism -- the usual fallback in a failed war.

--"Reform" -- an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn't fit your ideology.

Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from "us" pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of "I'm all right, Jack," and "Why change? Everything's OK as it is." The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness.

Obama's call for higher ideals in politics can't be seen in a vacuum. The shadow is real; it was bound to respond. Not just conservatives possess a shadow -- we all do. So what comes next is a contest between the two forces of progress and inertia. Will the shadow win again, or has its furtive appeal become exhausted? No one can predict. The best thing about Gov. Palin is that she brought this conflict to light, which makes the upcoming debate honest. It would be a shame to elect another Reagan, whose smiling persona was a stalking horse for the reactionary forces that have brought us to the demoralized state we are in. We deserve to see what we are getting, without disguise.

Monday, September 1, 2008


This is the first time that I have had an "ST" in the middle of my "EJ." I have always had "F" as feeler (rather than the "T"), as I am so emotional, but maybe something has shifted in my old age?? Anyway, this was an eye-opener for me, even though I have taken the Myers-Briggs many times and thought I answered the same!

Your result for The LONG Scientific Personality Test...

ESTJ-The Supervisor

Your type is known as the supervisor, as you are not hesitant to give your stamp of approval on others - or tell them how they are lacking if they are. You are surprised when others don't seem grateful that you have set them straight. Your type also belongs to the larger group called guardians. Experience is what matters to you, not experimentation or conjecture. You often take a lead role in the many groups and organizations you belong to. You worry a great deal about society falling apart, morality degrading, and what the world is coming to. You share your personality type with 10% of the population.

As a romantic partner, you communicate very clearly your strong opinions so your partner always knows where they stand. You are dependable, responsible, and rock solid. You can be rather infexible about giving up any control and insist on keeping a schedule, although you have great energy and enthusiam for planned adventures. You have difficulty seeing other's points of view and your biggest downfall in a relationship is dismissing your partner's feelings as illogical. You feel most appreciated for being trustworthy, efficient, and productive. You wish to be thanked tangibly for the ways you keep your lives on track.

Your group summary: Guardians (SJ)

Your Type Summary: ESTJ

Take The LONG Scientific Personality Test at HelloQuizzy

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kickin' Ass on the Wild Side

My Boys minus Tommy
Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil at Crue Fest, Boston, 08.22.08
Photo: Kathy G

I've been meaning to post about Crue Fest last Friday. J and I went and I had been excited since we got the tickets months ago. It was the last concert of the summer for us and it couldn't have been a better time.

Most of this blog will be a picture review of the show, but I did want to write about a few events of the night.

The concert started fairly early as the Comcast Center has a "curfew" time of 11pm. We missed Trapt (who I didn't really care to see anyway), and part of Sixx:AM's set, which was not planned. Sixx:AM is Nikki Sixx's side project that he created for his book, The Heroin Diaries (see previous blogs for review of the book!). Nikki has very unique ideas around music, bands and the industry and creating a soundtrack for a book is pretty unique and an interesting spin bringing literature and music together.

There was no plan to tour with Sixx:AM, but due to the creation of Crue Fest and a top 100 single on rock radio, he went ahead and brought the band on tour. I do have to say I was very surprised with the feedback of the crowd as no one had really seen this band other than on videos. James Michael, the producer and lead singer, has a great voice and did amazing work on the songs that were released. He's not that bad to look at either, so that helps with the fans. :)

I found their set engaging and fun. Nikki was really more in the background (he plays bass in the band as well), which allowed the other musicians to really shine. It was cool to watch.

After the set, James Michael came out for an impromptu meet and greet. Although I hadn't seen him before, I'm always up to meeting artists who put on a good set, so J and I ran out to see him during the Papa Roach set (which was another band I wasn't really into seeing anyway). There were probably a good 75 people around him taking pictures, having him sign autographs.

What I hadn't mentioned to this point is that I had written Nikki a letter in response to his book. There was a possible opportunity that I had to get him the letter the day before the show, but that didn't happen. I decided to print it out and bring it with me--worst case I could give it to one of the roadies.

When it hit me that James was the lead singer of Nikki's band, I was very excited. After a few tries, I finally got the letter in James' hand and asked him to give it to Nikki. I have no idea if it made it to him, but either way, I tried. :) After that, he was still taking pics so J got a great one of us right before he headed backstage.

Me and James Michael from Sixx AM
James Michael of Sixx:AM, Crue Fest, Boston, 08.22.08
Photo: Kathy G

After the paparazzi craziness and mini-miracle of the passing of the letter, J and I headed to our seats to watch (and I made fun of) Papa Roach. I'm not a fan of theirs at all, but I do have to say that the band was tight and the lead singer was a showman. I just thought he was trying a bit to hard to be "rocker guy" instead of focusing on who he really was, but I was making J laugh at a few things I will keep between us and it was turning out to be a really fun night.

Crazy B*#ch

Josh Todd from Buckcherry
Josh Todd from Buckcherry and his mega-tatooed back
Photo: Kathy G

I hadn't seen Buckcherry live and was pumped to see them. I knew it would be somewhat raunchy as most, if not all of their songs, are about sex, drugs and women. I was right and it was a blast! "Crazy Bitch," their mega-hit, was over the top! They extended it with a medley of guitar solos, Billy Squier and Prince! Here's the video. Keep in mind this is borderline rated X, but it's insane!

The Boys Are Back in Town

It's hard to really explain a Motley show unless you have gone to one. From their start in the early 80s, they wanted to be as over the top and decadent as humanly possible and every time we see them, they up themselves. J and I were laughing so hard due to all the pyro they used. When you least expected it another "BAM" or sparklers would go flying. It was such a sight to see and so much fun! I will use this example of "Wild Side" from Crue Fest to show you what I mean:

Bottom line is we had a blast. I actually got decent pics from where we were sitting, which honestly was another miracle because we were angled on the side. Here are a few to share.. enjoy!

Nikki Washed in White
Nikki washed in white

Mick in the Shadows
Mick in the shadows

"Vince" the art shot
"Vince" my art shot :)

Nikki Flipping Us Off
Nikki flipping us off during "MF of the Year"

Mick in Yellow
Mick washed with yellow

All in all a great summer of concerts and I can't think of a better show to end it with. Thank you, boys!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Brings me to tears

It's 7:00pm and I finished Nikki's book. It always seems that we come to some sort of "revelation" at a certain point in our lives. Usually something has to happen. In any case, as I said before, a lot of his book spoke to me. As I was reading one of the last pages, he says:

"What I've learned in this life so far is to let the little things go as much as possible and try to swerve to miss the big things. Life is like a long ride to nowhere in particular. We're bound to get a flat tire somewhere along the journey and it's never a good time for it to happen... in fact, it's usually pouring rain or a blizzard when you feel the car jolt from the tire that just blew out underneath you and ripped away at your safety and support.

But we don't have a choice really. We have to get out, fix the flat, get back in the car and head back out on the highway of life."

So true. So true.

Feels like today

Me small
Me this weekend
Photo: JG

For whatever reason, today felt like a Hard Rock/Metal music day. I felt good for the first time in days, was rested, had my cool red and black glasses on, and I was back to work.

I usually never skip songs on my iPod (it's always on shuffle), but today I kept doing that waiting for a song to call to me. I ended up with Filter, Nickelback, Motley Crue, Led Zeppelin, JET, Winger and old Journey. All my friends.

I don't know what it is about it, but I always feel so much more powerful, understood and sexy when I hear those songs, even if it's just me that knows it. I've been so attuned to my body and mind lately, I'm just being with the moment instead of analyzing it. When I have my "metal" days, they are some of my favorite times. Things are usually at peace, working well and I feel confident and powerful. Sometimes I need my friends when I'm mad--and they understand that.

I'm also in the middle (or really at the end) of reading The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue. I'm not sure if I ever shared this in a past blog, but I love memoirs. I have a bunch of them here. I tend to live in reality most of the time, whether that be in dreams, or where I seek "enjoyment." I love memoirs and documentaries. I love to see how people think and feel in their darkest and highest moments.

Nikki's book is raw, real and sad. I have laughed out loud and held back tears reading it. I didn't think I'd have any association with him or his life, but a lot of his entries (it literally is written in diary form with blurbs from him or other people to explain the entry) sound a lot like my words.. whether it was when I was 16 or so (which ironically was when the book started--1986) or sometimes even in recent days. I haven't done any hard drugs like he has (hence The Heroin Diaries), but I do understand the pain.

It almost makes me embarrassed to say that I understand it knowing what he went thru (mostly abandonment), but I guess we all deal with life differently and interpret things the way we do when we're kids. Just as he "found" his diaries many years later, I recently did the same thing last year. I have about 5-6 of them starting when I was 12. Some of them are kid stuff but others are pretty intense. There's a lot of questioning, hiding and asking a lot of "why" questions. Both he and I did a great job of hiding our pain as no one really asked what was going on and if they did, well, it wasn't going to go anywhere anyway.

I'm looking to finish the book before Friday as we are seeing Motley Crue for CrueFest on Friday night. I'm very excited. I know I have to finish it because you never know who you're going to run into :) People tend to laugh at me about all my "celebrity meetings" but you just don't know and I'm always prepared.

As I was walking home from the T just now, I had this cool vision of meeting the guys backstage (how I got there I have no idea). Nikki is clean now (and President of an Indie Label, Eleven Seven Records) and for some reason I feel like I could walk up to him, no problem. Most of the time all I want to do is thank artists for what they've brought me over the years. I've been lucky to have been able to do that with some of them, but I've never gotten to meet any of the Motley guys. In any case, my vision is to see Nikki with his jet black hair and towering stature, have him look over and see me. I walk over, say hi and ask if I can talk to him for a few minutes. I tell him I read his book, was extremely moved and wanted to thank him for taking the time to share his life with us.

Even though we both come from very different backgrounds, the book spoke to me in ways I had no idea it would.

I'm a bit mad now that I didn't make the trek over to his book signing downtown about a year ago. I was working full time and I would have had to have taken a half day off to go, but now I see it would have been worth it. However, in some ways, I'd have to know what I know now for it to be a even bigger deal, but I digress.

In essence, I don't see any way to meet him or the guys at this point, but who knows? If I had another month I could write him a letter or something and try to get it to him, but I may do some research and see if I can catch him thru the internet.

Now that he's clean, what else does he have to do except trowel around the Internet for hours on end and answer emails? A girl can dream can't she? LOL

Obviously there will be an update if that happens, but I'll end here saying that it was a good day.

Life seems to be getting back to normal, or at least it seems like it. Maybe one day I'll publish some of these blogs or my old diaries--not that anyone would want to read them, but that's what Nikki said when he was writing too.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nothing like what was expected

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sadly, I haven't updated this part of my journey since June 23, right before we left for vacation. I left people that were reading this hanging because I said that we'd have a pregnancy test when we got back. We were very lucky and it ended up that we were pregnant, and I actually thought that most of the anxiety would be over.

I'm not sure why I didn't think ahead on this as I know that the first 10-12 weeks of any pregnancy, natural or not, are tentative--especially at my age. But I trusted in the science and figured if it took the first try (with the IUI), we'd be fine.

I also told myself and a few others that I would keep a journal of sorts about my pregnancy once I got pregnant, as it's been "different" than some. But really, it's more to see the trials and tribulations of what J and I have been going thru, and specifically me emotionally and physically during this process.

All being said and done we should be at 8 wks + 2 today. Last week, we got bad news about the growth of the fetus. It seemed that things had been moving along OK after we received the first ultrasound on week 6, and last week (week 7) they detected a heartbeat, but the fetus had not really grown in that week. It basically grew 2 days in 9 (the last time we had done an ultrasound). Neither J nor I expected to be in this limbo again and hear the dreaded "we'll have to wait yet again." That seems like all we do these days and it's really getting old.

We were told that we had a 50/50 shot--we'll either lose it or it will grow. However, there are a few other options, such as they detect a heartbeat again and it didn't grow at least 7 days worth, or there's a heartbeat and it didn't really grow, or the heart rate wasn't at the appropriate speed. Although I have felt more stressful things in my life, I think at this point I have a handle on stress and knowing how to diffuse it; however, the emotional stress has been difficult.

I have no peace, even in my sleep, as I mostly have bad dreams about missing an appointment or plane, diverting my energy to others, or I'm being left in some way. Luckily these seem to be later in my sleep cycle, but I am waking up not knowing if they are real or not. I have fairly realistic dreams, so it's quite bizarre waking up sometimes.

Past Times Behind
To back up a bit and give a Cliff Notes version of what has happened, our Puerto Rico vacation was amazing. I found myself having signs of pregnancy even that first week, as I was craving protein just about every day. Although I love a good burger, I probably could have eaten 2 a day, every day. Funny enough, we got dinner brought in on our anniversary night (June 28) and it was a beautiful tenderloin with sides, so I was in heaven. I knew something was up, although I didn't have morning sickness or really any other symptoms. I was a bit surprised that I was having cravings already, but we were excited.

The week that we were there was great, I had energy, but mostly relaxed. It's amazing what a bit of R&R can do for you, and due to the circumstances, it couldn't have come at a better time.

that I would give any woman trying to get pregnant: RELAX AND REST AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Especially if you are trying, just make sure you get enough sleep, take that proverbial "last vacation" (even if it's a weekend or a couple days away), and start to eat right.

This was one of the first times I was really listening to my body and not abusing it. If I wanted to take a nap, I did, and it didn't matter how long, I made sure I had snacks and we ate regularly. It was all perfect.

When we got back on July 1, I had a feeling I was pregnant, but decided to wait until I went to Boston IVF for the official blood test. I could have easily did a home pregnancy test and got a positive that day, but I was torn. Much of this has been very difficult for me and not many people really understand, nor do I blame them for not. I have always wanted a family, but I can't say that it was a "dream" for me, like my husband. It's very hard to articulate, but what I have been able to determine is that I want to do many things in life and I believe that I am here for many reasons over my short time here. One of those things is to be a mother and raise leaders for this world. I do have plans for our children and ideas that I want to move forward on, but the immediate future of having a helpless baby in my arms where I am truly responsible for it surviving is frightening.

Over the weeks, I have gone up and down with my emotions, from being annoyed, frustrated, excited, happy, and depressed. Today being the latter. I had a lot of assumptions that I didn't even know I had until we get whatever news we get in that moment. I had it in my head that when we went to the second ultrasound last week, we'd either have a heartbeat or not and it would be pretty clear on how we'd move forward, but here I am, another two days from yet another ultrasound and I have no idea what is happening.

All I do know is that the small amount of side effects that I have had from the pregnancy are still there, nothing has changed (meaning nothing has been added or taken away), and I'm continuing to gain a bit of weight.

I have no idea what will happen on Thursday, but I guess this time I'm ready for whatever he gives us. If there is no heartbeat, it's pretty straight forward. And if there is one, all we can hope for is it's at a "normal" rate for this time. My main concern is that the fetus will continue to grow slowly and never catch up but will continue to have a heartbeat. What happens then? That will be my first question to the doc if that is the case.

Today's thoughts
I do have to say that the past couple of days have been very hard emotionally for me. Not necessarily due to the impending word of how we'll move forward, but just what all of this has created in my life. I currently feel like a failure and as I look back at the past couple years, it just seems like everything I have touched has failed. I'm really looking more at projects or roles I took on in organizations rather than friendships and the like.

For example, I had started a small production and artist management company that pretty much failed due to working full time. Although I learned a lot, I had a dream, it came to reality and crashed down pretty hard. Knowing that I'm the type of person that needs a partner, I sought out someone to do some Booking for bands in the area, specifically one we were fond of.

I was still working full time and she had personal things she was dealing with. Although we were both passionate about it, it seemed that other things were first to take care of, not to mention that the integrity of the band wasn't so stellar after all and we really didn't feel like we were being respected.

I realized, at least, that I didn't want anything to do with booking now or in the future, and if I ever do take on my business again, I'll be partnering with someone aside from my business in the booking area or the band will be responsible for that.

Again, I learned a lot, which is one of the main reasons you take risks in life, but for some reason, I just thought it would work.

Second, I ended up leaving my job after 3.5 years at the College I worked for. I realized that it was a good fit initially for where I was in my life, but I had grown immensely and had a lot of great ideas to make the online school grow, but I couldn't get them to be utilized for some reason. I know that I rubbed one of my bosses the wrong way, and it seems like sometimes that can never be reversed. I have a lot of transformational work under my belt, but this was one thing I was never able to fully complete, or maybe I just didn't want to bad enough.

I ended up leaving there heartbroken even though I really didn't like the sales based work I was doing over the past year or so. I still look back at that with many question marks and it's still really not complete for me. I also don't know what it's going to take for me to have peace there.. and convince myself that I didn't "quit" and that I really did have value there.

I then thought that not having a job would be the life. I'm blessed enough to have a husband that excels in pretty much everything he does and he's viewed as a "superstar" where he works. I will always be proud of him, but on one level, it's very hard to live with someone who is continually successful when you are failing or feel like a failure. I continually look for things to satisfy my yearning to make a difference with people and with the world.

After about a month and a half, I had to go back to work part-time to at least feel like I was giving back to society. I took on some assisting agreements at Landmark Education around seminars and I was feeling a bit better for a few months.

However, due to not being in my leadership roles there (as I was in the past for a few years), I still didn't feel like I was living up to my potential and not able to touch as many people as I would like on a day to day basis.

As I sit here writing this now, I still feel that way. I feel that there's something out there for me, but I can't seem to grasp it. I thought that law was the answer late last year, as I had an epiphany when I had a stint on jury duty last October. I couldn't believe it, but I took a stand with my husband and said that I was applying to law school.

J was thrown for a loop, but we were going to take it one step at a time. I'd research, then study for the LSAT and then apply. I did all that and was very proud, but when it came down to it, I didn't get accepted. Once again, I had an assumption, due to being a "different" type of student (adult, master degree, etc.) that I'd somehow be a shoe in for these schools. I got reminded quite quickly of my days of applying to grad school. Bottom line is that grades and test scores count and it honestly didn't matter what I wrote in my addendums or how many times my professional editor friend reviewed my personal statement. I didn't have the basis to get in.

Devastated, I continued to move on thinking that God or the Universe had something else in store for me. I thought if I don't get into law school, there has to be another path. Once I saw there was, and we got pregnant right away, I was complete about not getting into law school. The plan was to be pregnant, take care of myself, choose to continue working part time (or not) and work on my Paralegal certificate at a local school that would only take about 3 months. I was very excited at the opportunity, until last week when it felt like life had stopped.

Right now, I am plagued with not being able to plan anything--or not wanting to, as I don't know when we'd start the process over again if we had to, if I will still be watched closely which could mean that I have to take it easy as much as possible, and what can I really take on?

My energy level has been lower, I can't stay up and active much past 11p (usually I could go until 1-2a), and I just don't know how I will feel as the days go on. I'm looking ahead to my 20th High School Reunion in October, which I had taken on trying to find old classmates 3 years ago. I was pretty successful, but now I am looking at possibly not attending. I've been asked about the holidays, but how can I even make a decision at this point?

My ultimate wish is that I could be at peace and patient thru the next couple days and not worry about anything. Not worry that I'm missing out, can't do this or that and just relax. I guess I'm just sick of relaxing and most of my life has been a full time multi task. I love it, it doesn't make me tired (or it didn't), and I feel like I'm giving of myself where I need.

I hate to sound like I'm complaining, but it's really tough to deal with. I really think something is wrong with me. I feel like I should be excited and understanding about the process as I have done enough research. I know what I will take to get there, but something is just hanging on not to.

My husband still feels like I'm doing all of this just for him and it's causing confusion. I'm not happy thinking that our place that we bought is already too small and now I have to think about a baby here soon. There's so much more that I will spare all of you, but right now all I can do is just get thru another day.

It's hard to read all this as I don't see myself as this "victim" I'm sounding like, but I feel like I have so many voices talking in my head, it's hard to know what the true feelings are.

This will be updated (hopefully daily) and I'll post this when I feel comfortable.

Peace and Love.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Last night was a hard one. J and I both know we'll get word soon and reality is hitting. On top of that, I feel like one of the biggest failures in the world, and I'm really starting to think it's true. Yes, that is really victim-y, but I have evidence. I can't find anything else contrary so what am I supposed to do?

I got a call from my beloved OB, Dr. E, last night. I had been emailing him with updates and he called last night to make sure I was "holding up OK." I swear I almost started crying when I heard his voice asking that. What doctor does that these days!?!? I am blessed.

He was very kind, generous, gentle and straight. He's the perfect doctor for me. He sent his positive thoughts and asked me to update him after Thursday. He said he's concerned, but anything can turn around.

Last night also ended up a late night as we had therapy (which was very emotional) and then I had to exchange concert tickets with this guy off Criagslist. He was an hour away so we met at a mall halfway and J and I had a good dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

I'm clear that J and I love each other a lot and I also feel clear that I'm causing a lot of pain for both of us.. and now it seems like my body is broken. It's tough to deal with and I hate sounding so lame, but it's real right now.

The Music In Me

I heard this song last night on the radio and it just fit. I'm not even a big Pink Floyd fan, but sometimes the music just speaks to you.

...When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now.
The child is grown, the dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb.

Thursday, August, 7, 2008

Oddly enough, today marks one month since we found out we were pregnant. It's amazing what can happen in a month. Although the timing of it makes sense, much of it feels like several months. I guess when I start to think back when ALL of this started, it's been a few months, but this part of the process happened about 6 weeks ago.

We went back today for another ultrasound with a 50/50 shot. They didn't find a heartbeat so at least now the agony of waiting is over.

Last week was one of the hardest weeks I've ever experienced in my life. As I look back, I see that I mourned already, with bouts of hope, anxiety, happiness/denial and anger. All part of the process. I also realized that I did this one other time in my life. I had been engaged before and I was inside of a discernment about whether we needed to break up or not and how the both of us had grown apart. My entire life would be different and the dreams I had ahead of me would disappear and change in an instant.

Although I was in therapy, I did this work without any help from my therapist or friends. I felt like I didn't need to bring it to therapy for some reason. After we broke up, it was the oddest thing because I just came to my therapist telling him that we broke up. He was floored and confused, but understood.

The actual process of telling my ex was bold, confident, clear and peaceful. Obviously it wasn't for him, but we did this around Christmas and I remember that we had plans for that night to see a show and meet friends. We actually went to the show and all the anxiety and sadness had disappeared as it was finally "final."

It was a surreal time and people didn't understand, but what can you do? Your brain can only take so much and deal with so many people. It's usually in my nature to reach out and talk a lot. But then, and during this pregnancy process, I have kept to myself or had J involved at all times. I didn't see the reason to continue to talk about it when I wasn't going to get any real additional information. I had to go about it on my own, knowing that if I did need support, I had a lot of people that had gone thru similar ordeals that could help me.

Now, just knowing "what's so," we can move on. Oddly, I didn't find myself bonded with the baby yet as I was just getting used to being pregnant, but we'll start up the process again when the doc gives us word. Probably in October if the dates match along with holiday plans.

The coolest thing that the doctor said when we were in his office talking about the next few months was: "This is only part of your life, not your entire life. You have to enjoy life as much as possible and do what you want to do. We'll look at the calendar when we start up again, and if the dates don't match we'll delay."

I guess it is that easy. One positive thing about IUI or IVF is that you can plan the timing on one level, so I'm taking his advice. I'll want to be with family over the holidays and my sister and brother in law just moved back to MN, so it will be good therapy. J and I miss all of them a lot and it's something cool to look forward to.

On to the next, as they say. Update soon.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I probably shouldn't say I'll write every day. I always have the intention, but sometimes it's hard just to say what I feel.

I think this will be the last entry of this journey and I feel confident enough to post it. It's hard to imagine that these past few weeks have happened to me, but I have been able to take a deep hard look over time and I've learned some valuable lessons.

Once we found out that we only had one last "thing" to do with this round of the pregnancy, it was time wait one more time and start to deal with the reality of the "ending." After we got word last week that was no heartbeat, we actually had a good day. As I may have said above, both of us seemed to have mourned at one level. We spent the entire day together resting, being, and doing our own things at times. It's difficult to articulate why we do certain things, but I've learned to just do what is there instead of trying to do "the right thing" or what people would thing is the thing to do.

Most of the week was actually OK except for last Friday night when I was feeling well emotionally and J and I started sharing some intimate things. I realized quickly that I still was not "strong" inside of all of this and things came crashing down a bit. J was great with me, listened and we got thru it as always.

The rest of the week was about looking ahead, having great conversations and bonding with friends. I felt for the first time in a long time my dreams were returning--not due to not being pregnant anymore, but due to seeing something newly. I realized as I've gone thru this journey that getting pregnant and starting a family is not about giving up one's life. Since June, I basically gave up a lot of my life or was being "careful." I'm usually not that way and am constantly busy. I had stopped working out, was concerned about my heated yoga classes and told myself that taking on anything now would just mean I'd have to stop or quit later. I was only looking at the moment AND the extreme future at the same time.

I had a great conversation on Monday with a good friend of mine and leader at Landmark. He's such a stand for me and always looking out for me. He knows what I love to do and am inspired by. Sometimes I'm not doing those things and he points those things out :) As we were talking about what I was looking to take on, he reminded me that Participation = Vitality. I had forgotten that. What I had done over the past several months is decrease my participation in life due to trying to protect the baby. It ended up that I was miserable and eating well and resting still had me lose it.

I'm really taking his words to heart and starting to have conversations for what is next. I'm trying not to analyze too much. Just have the conversations I need to have and not be attached to an answer. Be honest about what's up with me, and it will either work or not. But the bottom line is to be in action.

Yesterday and Today
Yesterday I had my D&C and it went better than expected. I swear I have the best doctors and nurses in the world taking care of me. Although J and I were ready for what was next, it was still nice to have people authentically apologize for our loss and being so great with us the entire time we were there. The only time I got a bit anxious was when I had to leave J and go into the surgery room. I took my own advice and was in constant communication with the nurses and anesthesiologist. Once I started getting more anxious than usual, she took care of it and I was asleep in 30 seconds.

When I woke up, I had no idea we were even done! Everything went quickly and there were no surprises. I took a bit of time to recover and J came in to be with me. He's been my rock and I cry every time I think about him and who he's been for me over these weeks. It's been as hard for him as it's been for me, but you'd never know it. He says that I'm the one that has to go thru all the procedures, the least he can do is be there for me. All I know is that I am blessed and truly loved. Sometimes that much love is hard to take in--but I do my best to let it in, as I deserve it.

As I sit here today, I (physically) feel almost 100%. I feel better than I thought I would, I don't have much discomfort and I'm happy that I'll be able to make it to my friend's wedding in Maine on Saturday.

Today I took on a lot to get my life back in order. I got in communication with some folks that I needed to, ran errands that I had been putting off, scheduled some things, participated in my 20th high school reunion committee planning call, and started to look ahead to what's next.

My dreams seem to be coming back and I'm not deflating them right away as I have been over the past couple months. I'm just thinking about how they can all work and just going day by day. When and if the day comes that I need to hold off, delay or just not do it anymore, I will deal with it when it comes.

Our baby needs to come into the world with a mom that is happy and fulfilled. I have the capacity to do whatever it takes to make things work, as I've done it before. As long as I remember to talk to people, create teams and be honest, it will all work out.

I'll leave you all with one of my other favorite bands, Radiohead. J and I just saw them the other night and this song really spoke to me. I've always loved the song, but the lyrics just jumped right out at me.

"You can try the best you can
If you try the best you can
The best you can is good enough."

Here's to the closing of one chapter and starting another.

Optimistic - Radiohead

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Music Nerd Test

Now this one I felt more at home :)

78.01932% - Hardcore Music Nerd

Click here for Music Nerd Test and post your results!

The only one above mine, by the way, is "Obsessed Music Nerd." I know one person who is reading this that may beat me. Is "Danger" in the house?? HAHA

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nerd Test

These are always fun.. this one was actually funny :)

Thanks, D!

NerdTests.com says I'm an Uber Cool Non-Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Livin' in Dreamtime


Daryl Hall solo in Lowell, MA
Photo: Kathy G

As a fan of over 25 years, I always have high expectations when I see a Daryl Hall and John Oates show. However, there's still the unknown regarding any concert you attend. The sound could be unbearable, the venue may not conducive to music, or the artist may not up to par. This was not the case when my friend and I saw Daryl Hall solo at the Lowell High School Auditorium, Thursday, July 3, 2008.

My friend "Babs" and I started the day early. Originally Daryl's performance was part of the Lowell Summer Music Series at a local park. Although it was going to be hot that day, we were looking forward to it. We even got the "low beach chairs" for the event as we were planning on getting there major early to get "front row." I think each of us packed 3-4 bags of "stuff" (yes, this was only a day trip!) as there were also impending thunderstorms. "Rain or shine" it said, and as true fans, we just planned to be prepared.. no way we were going to let a bit of rain or sweltering sun get in the way of seeing our man.

I checked the website at 1pm, which was an hour after we were set to leave. This worked out though as it was stated on the site that the show got moved INSIDE to the Lowell High School Auditorium! Hooray! We still packed all our bags just in case and headed out. Babs, albeit a major H&O fan, has not yet listened to all their of albums yet. I do give her credit, though. She, unlike most people, has all of Daryl's solo work and actually knows all the words. Seeing that we were seeing a Daryl Hall solo show, she'd be alright most of the show :)

I went ahead and brought "Sacred Songs", Daryl's first and best solo album from 1980 and two H&O CDs, which are two of my favorites--"Along the Red Ledge" and "Beauty On a Backstreet" for the ride in. It's always cool for me to introduce anything new or old to fans, or even friends that have become new fans. I feel it's part of my job in life :)

We blasted the "sweet soul music" from her house to Lowell. (Lowell--it's still funny saying that city name :) We found where we needed to go from my trusty Nav and drove by the high school to check the line status. There were only about 10 people there so we were golden. We looped back around to the parking garage where it was $8 all day. I laughed out loud. $8. I was ready to pay $25. Gotta love small cities.

Karma Kicking In

When we pulled into the garage, I started noticing my "karma," as Babs put it. Things were just working out for us. We got there in record time, there was hardly anyone in line, $8 for parking and then we literally get the first spot in the garage (many other cars were there, by the way). Knowing that we'd have to go back and forth to the car for a bit of the day, this was a huge plus. Whatever was happening, we wanted it to continue.

After parking, we left most of the stuff in the car and walked over to the high school. Babs talked to a guy that had been around there since 8am. Came to find out later in the day that this was literally his SECOND concert ever! Although he lived in the area, I found it odd that he ventured out at 8am to see Daryl Hall. Either way, I was proud :) He mentioned to Babs that the line really hadn't grown since 10am. With it being a bit past 2pm, I made the decision to go get some lunch and then come back, even though Babs was a bit hesitant. Karma's on our side and we had nothing to worry about.

We headed over to the "downtown" area where there were a few small places to eat. As we crossed the street I happened to look behind me and saw a diner named "Angelina's." Only really hardcore H&O fans would know this, but Hall and Oates have a song named "Angelina" from the 1977 Past Times Behind album. I couldn't believe the hilarity of the situation. I said we had to eat there. The place was really cool, but hot inside. It's one thing I still can't get used to in New England--no AC. Being from Texas, everywhere has AC, but the buildings are also not 100+ years old. But either way, we found something to eat to hold us over and took some pics of us with the floormat that stated "Angelina's." Stop laughing.

Kat at Angelina's in Lowell

As we made our way back to the car, we were creating a plan of action. We had about 3 hours to wait out there. Thankfully, where we'd wait was in a shaded area, but neither one of us wanted to stand that long. The decision was made to bring the chairs and see what would happen. Hopefully, people wouldn't be a-holes and know what the basic rules were of "line waiting." I had my doubts, but anyone who had been there or was coming within the next hour, I assumed would adhere by said rules without having to say anything.

We got our place in line behind the "second concert guy" we talked to before lunch. Everybody was pretty chill; reading books, talking, someone even had an iPod with one of those portable speaker deals. It was nice to do a sort of tailgaiting before the show :) As the day went on, more people started coming. Anxiety from those of us adhering to the "rules" started to rise as people walked to the left side of the staircase. It was extremely obvious that we were creating a line on the RIGHT side of the staircase, but some people just don't care. Not too long after we put the chairs down, there we were making the decision to put them back in the car and stand in line. We took turns going back to the car (once again thank God for the parking space!), and then started getting vocal about our places in line. "Second concert guy" and another friend of his finally said something out loud letting the "ladies" who were trying to move ahead of us know who was boss. One woman didn't seem flustered by it at all. I won't go into my opinions about this person, but we'll call her "Ms. California" with the blonde hair, skinny white jeans, black tank, huge sunglasses, and the "Live from Daryl's House" hoodie placed loosely around her thin waist. She wasn't new to moving her way along (so I say), and I saw right thru what she was doing.

Cliff notes version of this part of the story is I saw her chatting-up just about everyone there. She saw that there were about 20 of us in line and started to look around to see who she could "befriend." She ended up being one of the "left staircase people" getting to know one of the women who was in front of us. I once again will leave my opinions to myself about the crowd, as I will look like a self-centered Bi-otch, but let's just say, the person she was talking to was not someone she would be friends with.

There was not much I could do about the situation, so I just made sure we adhered by "the rules" as best we could. Overall, things were OK until 5:30pm hit. Many of us had been there for hours and doors were at 5:30pm. Being the concert goer that I am, I knew the doors would not open right at 5:30p. Luckily, one of the staff that was there came out and told us that sound check was still happening and doors would open in 15 minutes. The natives were restless as the sky was "colored heavy gray" (sorry, lyric reference :) as the storm was a'comin'. We were also told that when the doors were open, people with will-call tickets would go to the left and those with cash to the right. This was just the beginning of the disorganization. As you can imagine, most people had will-call tickets. That in itself is not a problem, but when you only have ONE person with a clipboard with pages and pages of names to mark off with a highlighter, this could create major chaos. We all started to see the line ain't gonna be moving very quickly. When the doors opened, as I thought, "California" ended up getting in front of us. Calling her and others out made no difference, and to make matters worse, the woman that she "befriended" ended up giving away or selling her ticket once she saw that the "cash line" was open with no waiting. We were all yelling at the staff saying how unfair that was, but no one acknowledged us. There she went, throwing her $30 into the cash box and running into the auditorium. Our blood started to boil.

My heart started racing; I was pissed. All of us were. Babs and I got in OK and headed into the venue. The first three rows were sectioned off for VIPs and season ticket holders. In row four, there was the "befriended woman" who CUT in line (oh sorry, paid cash) sitting on the aisle. As we went to go sit down next to her, she said: "These are all saved!" It was literally 7-8 seats. I gave her the biggest go to hell look I could give and we sat behind her. Babs and I learned something. Don't listen to people that say "these are saved" for a GA show. There's no way she could have said anything if we did sit down and we would have had those seats. Not minutes later, here comes "California" and a bunch of people that were behind us outside (one of the girls I know from other shows) now sitting in front of us. One guy who was in front of Babs and me outside bitched out "California's" new friend, and Babs bitched out "California." As I assumed, "California" said nothing and it didn't seem to phase her. Her new rude friend only said: "I did stand in line!," but no one cared.

Babs and I sat silently steaming wondering what our next step was going to be and deciding that we needed to grow some balls when it comes to shows like this. Never again would this happen. I wondered where my karma went so when Babs went to take a smoke and grab a drink, I decided to talk to my fan friend who was sitting in front of me. We chatted for a few to lessen the tension and rude girl tried to get into the conversation. I was pleasant to her, but didn't really engage her. All I know is "Payback's a bitch" and it would be coming tonight or sometime in the future.

Babs got back after 15 minutes or so and I told her I chatted with the girls and had let it go. It's not like we had bad seats, but it was the point of the entire thing. Either way, that passed, and it was time to chill and enjoy the show.

Still Waiting...
Jen Kerney, a local pop and soul artist, did her soundcheck while we were all milling around. From my engineering mind, this was a cool experience to watch and listen to. It can be boring, but I love to attempt to hear what the FOH Engineer is hearing to train my own ears. A bit geeky, but whatever.

Not too long after soundcheck, Johnathan, the Lowell Event Planner, came out. He seemed like a cool guy and welcomed us all. He also talked about all the sponsors, etc. Basic stuff. Earlier on, some people around us were also talking to one of the staff guys regarding when he'd take the tape off the second and third rows. We were still trying to figure out how we were going to move up and it looked a bit tough. From the stage, Johnathan then says that he's planning on moving people UP (who had will-call tickets) to the second and third rows! How exciting! But there were like 500+ people in the venue. It kinda went over my head a bit until he said: "listen for your name." He stated that the first name would go to the third row, right center section of the theater. Although we were in row four, right center was really a better seat as Daryl's synth was on that side and the seats were between that and Daryl's center mic. Cool. We all sat quietly and he says the first name: "Kathy Gaalaas." Babs and I jumped up and screamed! I couldn't believe my name was the first one called! We gladly went over to the prime seats and I turned to Babs and said: "Payback's a bitch." We laughed hysterically.

Getting closer..
The show started at around 7:30pm with Jen Kearney and The Lost Onion (her band). I had heard about her before, but didn't really listen to any of her music. I knew (how I have no idea) that she was great probably from some local review I read somewhere. Seeing that a lot of us already heard her from the soundcheck, we were all anxiously waiting for more. We weren't disappointed. She had a great set, sounded beautifully and created many more fans. Check out her MySpace page for more info and to hear her songs.

There was a 20-25 minute break and all of us were definitely ready for Sir Daryl to hit the stage. I ran for a water, updated my signs just in case he took requests and wrote down some other requests from people I had been speaking to. It's always great to be around fans who have been around for a while. One woman I spoke to had seen Daryl in a small club in 1974 and sat right by the stage. What I would have done to be there. I was only 4, though.

Livin' in Dreamtime
At about 8:40pm the lights went down and Daryl took the stage. Everyone was up on their feet clapping and screaming. Each time I see him, I never know how he'll be. He can be quite moody, and due to suffering from Lyme disease a couple years ago, you never know. I noticed that smile as soon as he came out--Whew.. we are in for a great show.

He sat down at his synth to start the show with "You Make My Dreams." He looked healthy, happy, and bright. He even apologized for being late (I didn't even notice he was), which is highly uncommon. Due to the storm, he had to land in an airport he hadn't been to before. He stated: "I missed soundcheck so forgive me." Babs yelled out: "You never do soundcheck!" as a number of people around us laughed in agreement. Another woman shouted: "You don't need a soundcheck. You're perfect the way you are!" Way to stroke the old ego. LOL He laughed heartily at that and continued with the opening song that includes the Gym Class Hero's remixed intro that he played around with on LFDH a few months back. Fun!

The rest of the show was a number of us yelling out things to make him laugh, requests were offered and played (or not) and Daryl talked about the recent Troubadour shows John and he did in L.A. He didn't stand up much during the show, which was odd to see. He was either cradling a guitar or at the keyboard. During "Someone Like You" and some of the other slow, sexy songs like "Cab Driver," I feel it's best that he stands as he can show a bit more emotion. I do my best not to make up stories about why he does or doesn't do things, but I can only assume that he was either tired or just wanted it more low key and personal.

The karma continued when Daryl started talking about the next episode of Live From Daryl's House. As a bit of back story, Babs assisted in getting Monte Montgomery, an Austin singer/songwriter and amazing guitarist, on the show. Many calls were made, but it was as simple as sending a Youtube video of Monte singing "Sara Smile" to Daryl's publicist. His Publicist loved it and sent it directly to Daryl, so the story goes. Daryl loved Monte so much, he booked him on the show immediately. Babs has been very proud, but humble about this feat. So when D started talking about the next Live From Daryl's House in a vague way, I saw her on the edge of her seat waiting for the perfect moment to say something. When he stopped for a moment, Babs yelled out: "Hey D! So how do you like my friend Monte!?" Daryl looked confused for a split second and then said: "Oh yes! Monte Montgomery!" He started saying what a wonderful guitarist he was and how he gave him "a run for his money on Sara Smile." Babs stood up and T-bone (music director and guitarist for this show) saw her and began to thank her from the stage. The entire thing was surreal and I was just there observing it all. I mean, how cool was all of this!

After Babs got her bearings, she was laughing so hard wondering what just happened (she kinda blanked out) and then said: "OMG! You said just a couple weeks ago that Monte gave D a run for his money and now HE just said it! How are you so cool?!" Man, that was a moment! Everything was just working out. We were both on Cloud 9.

The show continued with some stellar "non-hit" H&O tunes and some of Daryl's solo stuff from "Soul Alone" and "Can't Stop Dreaming." The crowd continued the yelling out at funny quips, but doing this at inappropriate times thru the show. For example, I believe at the end of "Getaway Car," Daryl had completed singing the song but had a long pause before the last chord. Right at that time, a woman behind us screamed: "I love you!!!" Daryl already had his head down as the song is somewhat emotional, but when she said that, he burst out laughing, shook his head and actually blushed!!! Daryl was so authentic and it was SO great to see him that way.

It was disappointing to not hear anything from "Sacred Songs," however. It's mind-boggling on why he doesn't play more of those songs. In most fan's opinions, it's his best album, albeit more experimental. Someone to the right of us actually requested "Something in 4/4 Time," and he perked up a bit and smiled. I noticed that he tried to get a general feel of the song on the keys for about 3 seconds, but gave up. Either way, maybe we'll hear that song in a future set, but either way it would be great to hear some of the old solo stuff.

The last three songs were H&O hits ("Rich Girl," "Kiss On My List," "Private Eyes") and thankfully someone in the front row got up to dance. All of a sudden a rush of people started going to the stage. I said to Babs: "It's time. Let's go!" As we were sitting on the aisle it was extremely easy to get up front. I was to the barrier right in front of D's synth and Babs ended up by . She was placing herself there to maybe chat with him at the end of the show to say thank you regarding Monte, etc. I had a blast over there as I'm always in awe of master singers and musicians. It's so cool to see them that close watching their hands on the keys or guitar, seeing how they sing, etc. Although I had been up front at shows before, this experience was different as his synth is usually not that close to the side of the stage. It was like he was there in my livingroom or something. I even heard nuances of songs I had never heard him sing before by being that close. A musician's and fans dream!

Daryl continued with the smiles and amazement of the crowd all night. I could tell we really showed him a great time and he was having fun. When the man is on, it's a guarantee it's a miraculous night. He and the band came back with three more songs for the encore. I had been talking to Babs earlier that they had to play "Adult Education" as we were literally in a high school (the song is about high school life) and I thought that would be funny. As I thought, someone had a sense of humor and they played it. Daryl ended with "Foolish Pride," the second single off his second solo album "Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine."

I don't recall exactly what he said when he was leaving the stage because people were screaming and clapping so loudly, but he mentioned something to the effect that it was the best time he has had on stag--ever! That is REALLY hard for me to believe, but he mentioned several times how it was a crazy night (due to all the people yelling out, etc.) and that he was having a blast.

The show concluded with us sticking around for a bit, Babs getting to talk to the guitar tech to get a message to T-Bone, and gathering some of D's picks. We chatted with a number of fans (one of whom I had only met thru the new H&O discussion board), and it's always great to put a face to a name. We headed outside to chat with Jen Kearney's bass player who happened to be a Berklee grad (both Babs and I work at Berklee). I stated to him as we were walking that I had forgotten to get one of Jen's CDs. He said we should walk over to the load-in door to see if we could catch Jen. She hadn't left yet, so I happily thanked her for a great show and asked if I could get a disc. She was just about done loading out so I waited for a few minutes. Babs had walked to the side door when I was talking to Jen and I saw her talking to T-Bone! She finally got to say her thank yous in person and T-Bone was thanking her right back stating that working with Monte was the most incredible musical experience he'd ever had! Amazing. Daryl also scooted out the door and into his car to head out. Several fans were there yelling out "thank you!" to him and "great job!" He jumped in the car with a smile and a wave and was gone. Before I caught up with Jen again, I saw T-Bone at his car and I got to shake his hand. I told him: "Thanks for a great show and it was good to see you again." He said: "Great to see you too!" He's such an amazing guy. I've met him in the past and I can tell you he hasn't changed.

As we were saying our goodbyes, I got a disc from Jen, we met some of her other bandmates and then headed back to the parking garage. Reflecting back on the night, it was so surreal in many ways and it was hard to believe it was all over. Not only did we have the time of our lives hanging out together, but finally got to experience the show *I* wanted to experience with her AND to have everything else happen? Well, that was just bonus. Oh, and as a funny aside, we ended up parking for FREE! I asked the attendant where I should pay and he said, "Just sneak out." All I could think of was Daryl singing: "It's a laugh. What a laugh. It's so stupid, I gotta laugh!"

I always say things happen for a reason. I have no idea what will come of that night with all the conversations that were had, but all I do know is that this show will be a memory that will stay with me forever.

Final Thoughts
One of the things I love to do the most is to experience H&O shows with my friends. Over the years, I have brought 3-4 friends to shows that were not huge fans, but by the end of the show, definitely were. Everyone deserves fun and great music, and Daryl and John bring that each and every night they play.

To close, I'd like to thank Babs for the time of my life, T-Bone for being such a generous human being and to Daryl for being who he is. I don't know what I would have done without him and his music over the years, but I will continue to celebrate him as long as he will let me.

Set list for Daryl Hall solo
Lowell, MA
July 3, 2008

You Make My Dreams Come True
Everything Your Heart Desires
When The Morning Comes
Cab Driver
Someone Like You
Getaway Car
Stop Loving Me, Stop Loving You
It's A Laugh
Everytime You Go Away
Maneater (reggae version)
Sara Smile
Rich Girl
Kiss On My List
Private Eyes


I Can't Go For That, No Can Do
Adult Education
Foolish Pride

And Monte's version of "Sara Smile" that Daryl got to see...

Monday, June 23, 2008

IUI Update

On Thursday we got word that we'd have one more day of the hormone shot and then the hCG (what I call "the booster") on Friday. IUIs (in the past was called "artificial insemination) would be scheduled for Saturday AND Sunday. I knew that I'd probably have to go in twice, but I didn't know it would be consecutive days.

In any case, as I had expected, the hCG shot had me diving into depressive thoughts, but knowing that it may happen, I had some things scheduled. We went ahead and saw "Get Smart" that night, which was funny, but not as funny as I had hoped. I also learned that going out on a weekend night (Friday) and doing anything other than just going to the movie and going back home may have potential issues.

Due to the timing of things and not wanting to go to the last show, we decided to go the 9:15p show. J had gotten back a bit late from work and we didn't have much time to get the showtimes and head out there. We got the tickets online, did the shot, and headed out as soon as possible.

Needless to say, we didn't eat and thought we'd get something there. Wouldn't you know the first time in like, EVER, I decided to eat at a movie theater, they are OUT of hot dogs. I won't even go into it, but I didn't need that to happen with my hormones getting out of wack each second. We went over to the "grill" which had chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, etc. I figured chicken fingers would be quick, so we ordered those. We had about 10 minutes to showtime, but J told me to go in and get seats, so I did.

9:15p came and the previews started. It's now 9:30p and J hasn't returned. I attempted to do some blind texts as to not have the phone light come on in the dark theater, telling him to get his money back and just come in. He never got it, but came in about 5 minutes after the show started. It's probably best we didn't have the time to talk about the incompetence of the kids running the register and the "grill" as it would have been a bad scene.

Bottom line is we got food, we were both there and the movie had started.

I was feeling quite emotional thru the movie, but especially once we got home. Again, we knew this would probably happen, but it doesn't take away from the comfortableness of the moments. This time my mind was running like I was on drugs or had taken one of those "energy shots" from Starbucks. Nothing seemed like it would work: watching TV, calming breathing, writing, listening to music. I felt so bad for J. He kept offering things, but all I could do was cry and be anxious.

That part of it was fairly quick and I was finally able to get to sleep. I felt quite rested the next morning, even though I had to get up earlier than usual for a weekend. The appointment was at 9am and J had to go earlier than I did to give a sample.

I showed up a bit before 9am and we went in not too long afterwards. The procedure was fairly painless and quick. I didn't have any cramping and went on and enjoyed the sunny day. We did some cleaning around the house and I took it easy when I needed it.

Sunday, the hCG shot didn't seem to be affecting me as much and I felt back to normal. I headed back to IVF for another 9am appointment. It was SO busy that day. I had expected it to be a pretty light day, but we realized that the Waltham office was the only one open on a Sunday (there are other locations to do bloodwork, etc. Monday-Saturday).

We ended up going in a half hour after the appointment. I thought things would go smoothly as I knew exactly what to expect, but my body wasn't cooperating. I won't go into the details, but let's say our medical assistant attempted to get the speculum in about 5-6 times. This did not mean she didn't know what she was doing (or maybe she didn't), but it's possible that my insides were just a bit swollen from the day before. Who knows? There are so many parts of this process where I'm just trusting the process and my doctors (which is a miracle in itself). The way I usually learn about all this stuff is researching it before or after I don't understand something.

So all in all, it wasn't painful, just uncomfortable, and it's done for now. No more shots or poking and prodding for a couple weeks.

On July 7 I go in for a pregnancy test and we'll know what to do from there.

Other than nursing some allergic reaction I had (I'm pretty sure it had nothing to do with the procedure) where my left eye looked like it had been punched over night, I feel fine. I called about 4 docs and nurses and found that I could take Claritin for the swelling and itching and the icepack worked to lessen it a ton.

It's hard not to go to "damn I feel old" but honestly, this has nothing to do about being old. It's just part of what or what may not come up going thru a stressful process like this. I have a ton of hormones that have never been created naturally inside my body, so I have to expect pretty much anything.

I've been very lucky the initial hormones haven't affected me like other women. I guess I can't complain.

We're Outta Here!
On our way on vacation this week for our 5th Anniversary! This year has been crazy, but an amazing year of growth, love and learning.

Oh and last but not least. R.I.P. George Carlin. I'm stunned. George, you and your "intellectual comedy" will be missed by so many.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reality Hits

I’m sitting here at almost 5:30pm on a Friday. The windows are open, it’s in the low 70s, cloudy and there’s a beautiful breeze. I decided to start up the iTunes and have Daryl and John along with me as I write.

When I’m alone here in the condo with the windows open, I feel so blessed that we live here. It’s quiet; there are huge trees outside, rustling leaves. It’s hard to believe we have a Boston address. God was looking out for us when we found this place three years ago. We complain sometimes that the place is too small, but I’ll take what’s outside the window and a small place vs. anything else right now. I need the peace and nature brings that to me.

Keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times
The past two days have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. There have been major updates on the pregnancy front and I felt compelled to write. Usually my blogs start to write themselves when I’m in the T on the way home from work. It’s about a 45 minute ride and my mind has a lot of time to think during that time. Today was no exception.

Emotionally and physically there have been changes in the past 24 hours. For the past 13 days I have been taking Repronex, a hormone shot that gives me the FSH and LH that I’m not producing normally. Luckily, I had absolutely no side effects other than a bit of bruising where I got the shots, but it was extremely minimal.

After my first 5 days on 75cc’s, they just about doubled the dose to make my follicles grow a bit quicker. My body responded as it should and at my last ultrasound I had about 3 follicles my doc considers “ready.” I had gone back down to 75cc’s a few days ago and took my final dose last night. Although it doesn’t hurt to get the shot, there have been a few times that I was “done” with them.

I’ve really had to put my life into this process instead of having it as “something else I had to do.” My Landmark ILP training has once again come into play in a huge way. Bottom line is everything in life is around “context,” and if I tried to put this fertility process as anything else but “the” thing to do, there would have been a lot of upset and disappointment. It’s just what there is to do, and it’s fairly straightforward. I’m not saying it’s been easy, but I literally could count on one hand when I was annoyed or bummed that I had to leave early from something, etc. And all of those were just moments. Once they passed, I was able to create the big picture again and move forward.

I also think I take for granted all the amazing and extraordinary people in my life, as this hasn’t been a struggle at all really. And I’m talking about co-workers and other volunteer commitments I have, not just around friends or family. Everyone is so supportive that it’s a bit hard to take in sometimes. As one of my friends said to me yesterday, “this baby will not be short on love.” That is definitely true.

The nurse called yesterday to give me an update on my most recent bloodwork and ultrasound. My estrogen and other levels had gone up substantially (this is a good thing), and she said I was ready for my IUI this weekend.

As of right now, I have re-read that last sentence at least four times. It’s hard to believe that we are actually here. The past three months have been up and down, but due to the past two failed attempts, reality hadn’t really sunk in yet. Now it has.

Granted, we have no idea if this will work. Every step of this is critical and an unknown in a way. My body will either respond or it won’t and I have no real control over this—other than my mind. If it’s time, this will happen. And if it does, I’ll have to be ready—or will get ready.

What many people don’t know and what I haven’t shared is that I am not one of those people that is dying to be a mother. This does not mean that I do not want a family. I’m just not one of those “I was BORN to be a mom!” kind of people. I’ve been working on the “why” of this for a few years, but honestly it doesn’t matter. It’s just about choosing and being honest with myself. I’m clear that I do want children and always had the vision of myself with kids, but I just didn’t know when I would have them.

I was conflicted about this for several years. I thought my “clock” would somehow start screaming at one point (as I was told by more than one person it would), and when it didn’t, I started making things up about myself. Like either something was wrong with me or maybe I didn’t even want kids? It was horrible to go thru, and unfortunately I didn’t seek out anyone to talk to. I wish I did.

I share all this, as I believe there are more women out there like me. Women who have based a lot of their life on career and education and get married a bit later. There are a lot of unanswered questions: When is a good time to start a family? What if my husband is ready before I am? What if my internal “alarm” never goes off? It’s tough to deal with and something I kept hidden. We make ourselves wrong, question who we are, and it feels very heavy and scary. If my writing here helps at least one other woman, I am happy. We are never alone.

Today and the weekend
Chemically and emotionally I feel very different today. It started last night really. I wasn’t feeling 100% and a bit nauseous. I thought it was something I ate, but it’s back again this afternoon. I’ve been more tired than usual the past two nights, and most importantly, emotional. This happened before I did the first hCG shot a couple months ago. It’s something I have to watch as I went into a VERY deep depression after the shot and I wasn’t expecting it. I have the support structures in place now and a pretty free weekend, so I’m not too worried. But I have enjoyed the happiness and laughter I have created over the past few months. I’m finally getting what it is to be truly happy and at peace. I consider it a miracle. Once I knew it was available, I had been seeking it for 11 years. Many things are falling into place.

So I go in for the IUI Saturday and Sunday. (If you want to find out more about this process because you are a research junkie like I am click here.) We won’t know anything official (if I’m pregnant) until July 7—7/7. Kinda cool—the date. Once that is done on Sunday, J and I are heading to a beach party with one of my closest friends and a ton of other people. It will be good to have great company, yummy food, and the ocean breezes. Then a few days later, we head to Puerto Rico to celebrate our fifth anniversary. This year has been a long one, but one of the most memorable and one where I GREW UP. Sometimes you need those really tough times to perk up and learn the tough lessons. My husband is a saint.

Needless to say I’m nervous, scared. I think mostly due to being in the “unknown” about the procedure and how things will be afterwards. All my life I have been prepared for everything, but as I get older, and especially in this process, there’s a lot of unknowns. You either be OK with it or not. It’s like being at peace or suffering—I get to choose.

I just have to trust in the process. I love the facility, I trust my doctor, and J will be with me during the procedure. It’s all I can do, and I have to give myself over. Sometimes it feels like every day brings me a new lesson—and it brings me closer to the peace I’ve been seeking.

About laughter and some stream of consciousness
I think I am going to pry myself out of the house to go see “Get Smart” tonight starring Steve Carell. I love Steve and sometimes laughter is the best medicine. I know I won’t want to go, but it may be the best thing for me.

The sun is going down, but the rain just started. How cool is that? I wish I could videotape this and just put it up, but honestly I don’t think it would be much of a video filming it out the window. Either way, I like it.

I was trying to find a great song to end with here. One that I wanted from Kip Winger’s new solo album was not available. But this song has a lot of meaning to me—lyrics and all. Enjoy.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Guitar Gods

Got this request on Facebook from a friend. Stupid, but hey, it's Friday :)

What Kind of Guitar God Are You?

Traditional Rock God


You are the Guitar God of Hard Rock, Rock & Roll, Psychedelic Rock and Glam Rock. You give your audience a hell of a time by pure, undiluted riffs and traditional solos. Your fans are most likely Slash, Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, and Brian May fans.

Your choice of weapon is usually a Gibson SG, Les Paul, or a Fender Strat. People might criticize you for your repetitiveness or simpleness, but there is no doubt you are truly rocking in your heart--that is unchallengeable.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

STP is Alive (and Scott's Out of Jail)!

Scott Weiland
Photo: Kathy G

This is a week late, but I had to post.

Last Sunday, I went to the WBCN River Rave here in Boston. For those that are not from here, WBCN is a local rock station that hosts several top bands at a festival-like concert each year. Many of us in Boston see it as a “first concert of summer” type show, whether you go or not.

This year, it was announced that Stone Temple Pilots would be playing. If you don’t know about STP and the illustrious Scott Weiland, click on his name. Bottom line is none of us ever know if the band will stay together, or if a show will even happen for that matter. Scott’s been in rehab more times than anyone can count and if he’s not in rehab he’s usually in jail. STP took a break for a while, so hearing that they’d be headlining this show, well, I thought it would be one of the last times we may see them.

How I was able to get pit tickets still amazes me, but the marketing for this show was a bit odd. I’m on all the concert alerts so I got an alert for STP first and not WBCN. “STP tickets” were on sale thru Ticketmonster and didn’t mention radio station festival. As I listened to WBCN over the weeks, I found that THEIR pre-sale was the following day?? Whatever.

I got the tix as soon as they went on sale, got thru (online) right away, and got GA. Score.

Oddly, I hadn’t seen any of the bands on the bill, but “knew of” most of them:

*10 Years
*Street Dogs
*Girls, Guns and Glory (local contest winner)

J had seen Filter and STP in another life, so he at least knew what to expect. I was just excited to go to the show, and honestly, I was going more for the honor of saying: “I saw STP before (fill in the blank here)” and then people would be jealous. I had no idea how blown away I would be that night.

My husband and I did some tailgating before the show, which was a blast. Had a couple beers and some food and headed in. We caught most of 10 Years set, which was great.

10 Years
Photo: Kathy G

I had heard a single of theirs on the radio and really liked them. They didn’t disappoint and made fans out of both of us. I even got to shake Jesse’s hand (the lead singer) as they left the stage.

Photo: Kathy G

Everlast was extraordinary. This guy has been around forever and he even stated several times that he’s been in the record business for over 20 years! He was spot on, sounded awesome and was really funny. He’s a white dude and his backing band was all black.. he called them “The White Folks.” LOL

The crowd had thickened in the seats when Everlast was on and I was happy. The guy really delivered, even though the sun was still blaring (he went on at 6p).

Filter was next. Robert (lead) was mad due to “no darkness” as their set was still earlier on in the evening and the sun hadn’t set. It didn’t matter though. He brought the dark, heavy chords and lyrics as if it was pitch black. Robert is a badass and I literally said that as soon as I saw him. Dressed all in black and wearing “The Fly”-like black shades, he was the quintessential rock and roller. I knew many of the songs, but even the one’s I didn’t, I still loved. All their albums are now on my iPod and I’m officially a fan.

Robert Patrick of Filter
Photo: Kathy G

I wasn’t impressed with Pennywise at all. They are not my type of band. I’m a bit into punk, etc., but just wasn’t impressed with these guys. I’m still not sure why they got second to the last billing behind STP. I don’t know much about them, so I assume they have a new album out or something? Who knows? I don’t even want to go and look it up.

Scott's in the House!

Scott and Robert, STP
Photo: Kathy G

Although we had to wait over 30 minutes for STP, it ended up being worth the wait. Scott was in fine form, out of jail (thank God), and the band was tight. People in the pit were a bit a-hole-ish (why do you HAVE to talk during the entire set????), but we finally found a place to stand where people were actually listening to the show. I got some amazing shots and two of them I’m extremely proud of.

The set consisted of “greatest hits” and I was surprised how many I knew. At one point, Scott said: “It seems that our songs have really stood the test of time..” and everyone cheered. He was very humble and authentic when he spoke, almost like he was even surprised about how long their songs have held up.

He said something amazing that I wish I wrote down, but he said something like: “I think our songs have stood the test of time because they found us. We wrote them, but the songs were out there and found their way to us.” I didn’t do that quote justice, but he said it so poetic, like a true songwriter. From there, the band broke into “Plush.”

Here’s the set list from the NJ show the night before. I wasn’t able to find a Boston setlist, although I know they had to cut out 1-2 songs towards the end due to coming out 10 min late and getting a time warning (the Tweeter Center has a 11p curfew):

Big Empty / Wicked Garden / Big Bang Baby / Vasoline / Lady Picture Show / Lounge Fly / Crackerman / Sour Girl / Creep / Plush / Interstate Love Song / Coma / Down / Sin / Sex Type Thing / Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart

My feet were killing me by the end of the night, but I was so happy we had the “seats” we did, and that I got to see all these great bands. I hope that STP will be around for a long, long time, but if not, I’m proud to say that I saw them, and for very different reasons than I originally intended.

Take care of yourself, Scott. There are more songs out there that are looking for you, and we’re anxiously awaiting their arrival.