Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Life List (A Work in Progress)

After reading John Goddard's life list, drafted when he was 15 and comprised of 127 tasks, anyone...namely me...would feel like an utter slacker or failure by comparison. Among Mr. Goddard's many accomplishments is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, exploring the Nile River, swimming in Lake Titicaca in S. America, writing a book, and visiting almost every country in the world (he's only got 30 to go).

Inspired by Mr. Goddard's example, I decided to draft my own life list. The plan is to make the list a work in progress. An ever-evolving compilation of my short-term and long-term dreams and goals. As you'll note, my list is much more condensed and significantly less ambitious than John's. Here it is, in no particular order:

1. learn to swim
2. learn to ride a bike
3. learn to speak Italian
4. do Habitat for Humanity
5. get a tattoo
6. find Carmen's family* (a story for another day)
7. visit Best Friend's Animal Sanctuary
8. write a book
9. do the NYC marathon
10. lose 20 pounds so I can do the NYC marathon
11. go on a long road trip
12. visit my brother in Virginia
13. attend Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
14. spend New Year's Eve in Times Square
15. visit Scotland (I blame the countless romance novels I've read for this one)
16. fall in love
17. marry George Clooney

#17 is definitely my most ambitious goal, but I'm nothing if not optimistic.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Would Your Answer Be?

Thanks to the marvel that is StumbleUpon, I found the wonderful site, Fifty People, One Question. Fifty People, One Question is "an ongoing social experiment and film series exploring human connections through people and place."

The project has created five films which are posted on the site. This video is Fifty Londoners, one question. The question asked of each was "Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?" The answers were at times practical, funny and touching.

Each video was beautifully done with just the right music to set the atmosphere, but just as beautiful and moving were the comments/answers posted on the website by people from all over the world. Some answers made me cry because they spoke right to my heart (“to my mother's voice from the room next door. i wish she was still alive”), yet others made me smile (“I'd like to wake up the day when Emma will be born”), but each -- funny, sad or otherwise -- touched me in some small way.

I'm still not sure what my answer would be to the question. I'll let you know later. What would your answer be?

A Night of Great Music

Despite the fact, that as I stated previously, I'm going into award season overload, I will definitely be tuning in to CBS this Sunday, January 31st (8 pm ET) to watch the GRAMMY Awards. For me, the GRAMMYs are pure enjoyment. I'm not a big music buff or aficionado, I rarely purchase CDs, download music from iTunes or even listen to the radio, so the show becomes simply a wonderful free music concert. A chance to see great performances by great artists.

This year's show has a wonderful lineup of performances to look forward to, including Beyoncé, the Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, the Dave Matthews Band, Green Day, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Maxwell, Pink, Taylor Swift, and the Zac Brown Band, as well as a special 3-D GRAMMY tribute to Michael Jackson featuring Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood, and Usher.

As if that weren't enough, the GRAMMY website has also announced a special performance of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli, with the performance being made available on iTunes and the proceeds going to Haiti relief. Viewers will be able to purchase what will undoubtedly be a memorable performance, and feel good about it too.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Poem Within

A few months ago I found a wonderful website called Soul Pancake, which was co-created by Rainn Wilson (Dwight from "The Office"). As the site says, it's a place where you can "chew on life's big questions." Subjects vary from God, to philosophy, to art and so much more. In addition to sharing your insights and feelings, the site also has "creative challenges" where you get to express your creativity. One such creative challenge was called "the poem is waiting for you." Posters were asked to act like a sculptor to a page and chip away the excess. The objective is to take a page from a newspaper, magazine or book and then black-out everything but the poem within a la Austin Kleon's newspaper blackout poems.

So, without further ado, here's the poem I was able to chip away from a New York magazine article.

The love I feel
is not going anywhere
It is truth

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thanks NPR!

Corinne Bailey Rae, the talented singer-songwriter who made it big with such hits as "Put Your Records On" is finally releasing her second album, "The Sea." The album is a blend of soul, jazz, and pop, and thanks to NPR Music you can preview the entire album prior to its release. This album comes two years after the death of her husband due to an accidental overdose. The opening track "Are You Here," which is a tribute to her husband, and the album's namesake "The Sea" are my favorite tracks so far. Her voice is as beautiful and soulful as ever.

So run, dont' walk and visit NPR Music to check out the album for yourself before it disappears.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Be the Difference

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
- Edward Everett Hale

We can all make a difference. Be the difference.

Coming to a Theater Near You

I have been not so patiently waiting for this movie since last October, when it was originally due to be released. "Shutter Island" brings Martin Scorcese and Leo DiCaprio together again in a film adaptation of Dennis Lehane's brilliant novel. The current release date is February 19th.

American Idol: My Favorite Audition, So Far

I'm not a gambling woman, but if I was, I'd put all my money behind my current favorite "American Idol" auditioner, Tyler Grady, to take it all the way. Alright, maybe I wouldn't bet the house on it, especially since we haven't seen all the auditions yet, but I will say, Tyler's audition stood out for me in all the right ways, and I can't wait to see him again in the Hollywood round.

Tyler appeared in the Boston auditions dressed in bell-bottom jeans, a purple polyester shirt, and matching braces on both of his broken wrists. How did he break his wrists you might ask? The answer, the good old-fashioned way, tree-climbing. Add to that questionable style-sense some spastic dance moves in front of the camera prior to his audition and you were left expecting yet another loser wannabe just trying to get on TV, but instead Tyler belted out a sexy version of "Let's Get It On" and totally won the judges and me over. (Check out his audition here).

Here's hoping Tyler wows us yet again in Hollywood and America gets to see a whole lot more of him.

Right Now

...I'm 20 pounds overweight, but not doing much about it.
...I'm reading "The Story Sisters" by Alice Hoffman.
...I'm loving "Modern Family". My new favorite show on television.
...I'm beating my cuz in Scrabble on Facebook.
...I'm keeping all of Haiti in my prayers.
...I'm dying for the release of "Shutter Island". Can't wait!
...I'm dreading Valentine's Day.
...I'm looking forward to "Valentine's Day", the movie.
...I'm drafting my Life List (will post about this later).
...I'm eagerly awaiting "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains." Go Russell!
...I'm disappointed my Jets lost. :o(
...I'm going into award season overload. Oscars will push me over the edge.
...I'm loving it's the last season of "Lost" and we'll soon have all the answers.
...I'm hating it's the last season of "Lost" and there'll be no more questions.
...I'm hoping my "American Idol" favorite (Tyler Grady) makes it to Top 24.
...I'm happy to be posting again.