Things I like about Miami

Murals on walls
Cats on sidewalks

Bars in hotels
Hotels with pools
Pools with tables in them

Beds next to water
Water taxis
Stone yachts

Secret gardens
Serious musicians

Old-guy guitarists
Drunk guys who share their wine

Guys who don’t dance
Guys who speak to me in Spanish
Girls in leopard print dresses

25 songs, 25 days

Well, I did it all in one day. Thanks, Twindaddy, this was fun!

Day 1: A song from childhood

I Write the Songs by Barry Manilow. I remember waking up very early to the sound of this one from the kitchen.

Day 2: A song that reminds you of your most recent ex-boyfriend

It’s been awhile, but These are Days by Natalie Merchant always takes me back to the summer after high school.

Day 3: A song that reminds you of your parents

For my mom, it’s You are my Sunshine, which she used to sing to me when I was a kid. I don’t have any songs for my dad.

Day 4: A song that calms you down

Hallelujah. I like all the versions, but Pandora plays me Jeff Buckley the most often.

Day 5: A song that is often stuck in your head

For a while there it was Let it Go. I’m glad the kids finally let it go.

Day 6: A song that reminds you of a best friend

Walk Like an Egyptian. If you can name the friend, then you know me really well.

Day 7: A song that reminds you of the past summer

Counting Stars by One Republic, so awesome until the kids found out about it.

Day 8: A song that reminds you of your “first love”

Everything I Do by Bryan Adams. Accent heavily on the quotes. Listening makes me hang my head in shame.

Day 9: A song that makes you hopeful

Tripping Billies by Dave Matthews. Do I really need to explain?

Day 10: A song by your favorite band

I don’t have a favorite band. There are too many good ones.

Day 11: A song on the soundtrack of your favorite movie

Son of a Preacher Man. Go ahead, name my favorite movie.

Day 12: The last song you heard

Does a Bach concerto count?

Day 13: A song that reminds you of a former friend

That’s What Friends are For, Dionne Warwick. Back in the days when I used to be obsessed with radio dedications and before a best friend of mine died young.

Day 14: A song that reminds you of your husband

Faithfully by Journey

Day 15: A song you love to sing along to

Here Comes the Sun

Day 16: A song that has made you cry

Fire and Rain by James Taylor. Actually it makes me cry every time.

Day 17: A song that makes you want to dance

Short Skirt, Long Jacket by Cake

Day 18: A song that you love but rarely listen to

Jesus Don’t Want Me for a Sunbeam by Nirvana

Day 19: First song alphabetically on your iPod

ABC by the Jackson 5

Day 20: Last song alphabetically on your iPod

Numbers are coming up last, so I’ll give you 99 Luftballoons in German. There’s a Z in there somewhere.

Day 21: My favorite song

Lately, Pompeii by Bastille. But I have a long-term relationship with What a Good Boy by Barenaked Ladies.

Day 22: A song that someone has sung to you

Nightswimming by REM, 20 years ago at a duck pond in the rain.

Day 23: A song that you can’t stand to listen to

See day 22.

Day 24: A song that you have danced to with your best friend

In the Mood by Glenn Miller, first dance at my wedding.

Day 25: A song you could listen to all day without getting tired of.

Down to the River to Pray by Allison Krauss

Want to participate? The full list is at Melanie Jo Moore’s blog. Melanie, good luck rebuilding your playlist!


I have a lot of ideas

As part of Yeah Write’s 31 Days to a Better Blog series this month, I did a little free writing this week. I learned that I have a ton of ideas. Ideas are literally pouring out of my mind faster than I can remember to write them down. I filled a page of my journal in about ten minutes, and that’s just the beginning.

Here are the ten that I like the best, in no particular order:

1. Why we all should practice Opposite Day — let’s let our kids be in charge for one day of each week and see what happens.

2. Being a mom of three is a lot like living in a video game, trying to get everyone to the finish line at once without getting too distracted along the way.

3. Grandmothers are secret sources of strength for us women, and we usually align ourselves with them unconsciously.

4. How a friend’s death can dramatically affect your life.

5. The most romantic dinner I’ve ever had.

6. How I won over a boss who hated me (I think).

7. Why I tried to dump a friend and how I got her back.

8. I was once in a mom’s group with a bunch of gun-toters, and how I’m not always what I seem.

9. Why Chinese restaurants remind me that my Bubbie hated me.

10. All about my experiences with reiki massage, and where does that energy come from?

So, what would you most like to read about?


I was crazy when I wrote this


Earlier this year, I had a weird experience. And I went (a little) crazy. I was diagnosed with hypomania, which on the spectrum of mental illnesses, is really not awful. It’s main symptoms are increased energy, motivation, and creativity. It’s almost funny, except that it’s not. I am terrified of mental illness, even the good kind.

Luckily, my husband, Geoff, noticed the changes in me almost immediately — most notably sleeping only three hours a night — and he insisted that I see a doctor. I did, and hopefully my hypomania will never develop into full-blown mania or bipolar disorder.

Going crazy, for me, felt like someone had laid a subway map over my mind. All of a sudden, I could see a ton of different connections without even trying. It was both cool and disconcerting. I started to make notes of things all the time. For a short time, I made the notes on Post-Its, until Geoff commented on how crazy that seemed. Then I bought a notebook. In my notebook, I made a list of advice for myself, which at the time felt somehow essential. I felt that if I did not write these things down, I might actually forget them. Looking back at this list, it seems obvious yet a little strange to me. What do you think?

1. Start out small.

2. Get a nickname. Get many names; use them all, but only be you.

3. Read.

4. Know yourself. Learn to trust when you are right.

5. First, become whole. Accept yourself. Then divide and piece yourself back together.

6. Do what you need to do.

7. Try.

8. Answer your own questions.

9. Never be afraid to be wrong. If you are wrong, admit it.

10. Don’t close your mind.

11. Love.

12. Forgive yourself for what you regret. Redeem yourself by doing the opposite.

There you go. I can’t say whether I recommend taking my advice or laughing about it. I was crazy when I wrote it, after all.

I’m building a better blog this month over at Yeah Write. Come check it out!