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The title could be perceived as a morbid way to start a post, I on the other hand think it’s kind of awesome.

I am obsessed with this song.

“Die Die Die” by the Avett Brothers.

And this video.


Especially the part in the video where it says, “It was time to follow her dreams.”

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The most fun summer events are the weekly dance parties at the Spiegeltent at Bard College. For $5 you get entry into the best dance floor in the Hudson Valley. The beats are serious. The people are characters. The dress code if as you see fit. The energy is awesome. And the sweat dripping down your back is just what the doctor ordered. There are only a few weeks left of the Spiegeltent and it is highly recommended you attend. In something cute. And with some body glitter.

Talk about dance?  Dance is not something to talk about.  Dance is to dance.  ~ Peter Saint James

It is no secret that live music is my thing. Being in front of a musician doing their thing is electrifying and exciting. I have been attending concerts since before I was old enough to stand. My mother had me in the bass case of Dave Holland, named me after Thelonius Sphere Monk and dressed as purple velvet witch for the 1985 Grateful Dead Halloween show. She and many others have brought music to me. It’s my happy place.

With hundreds of shows under my belt, it seems that Michael Franti and Spearhead are the current winners in the smile department.

Pictured here with Michael at the Dave Matthews Band Caravan in Atlantic City this past weekend.

After a few, “It’s nice to see you again,” a guitar pick and numerous dancing in the front of a venue. I did it. I was in the front row for a Michael Franti performance and better yet, had a kind fellow concert goer take our picture. In case you had trouble deciphering it, that’s was pure happiness looks like. It’s embodied in a genuine smile. Not a posed smile or a fake smile or a no teeth smile. It’s just a grin. The kind of grin that arrives when you are near your musical genius crush.

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” ~ Billy Joel

1. I recently made this cake for a dear friend. It was 6 layers, one for every rainbow color, and was adorned with a rainbow lotus flower and rainbows with clouds.

In the next couple of weeks I have some confections on my plate and since the kitchen is the ONLY place where my month-long stress eye twitch goes away, I’m all for spending some time there. I am gearing up for an ice cream cake for my brother-from-another-mother, baby boy cupcakes for my absolute best friend’s little sister, a dear friend’s wedding shower cupcakes, a birthday cake for my mother, a graduation cake for my nearest and dearest massage therapist and nurse grads and something extravagant for my little sister’s graduation from NYU. OMG. WTF. When did my little sister become legal to drink, get a job and rule the world. I must have blinked.

2. I am desperately awaiting the arrival of ramps.

Last year’s ramp selection, at $11.99 a pound, I used them wisely. Bacon ramp pizza, buttermilk ramp biscuits and ramp alfredo.

Perhaps what is more exciting than waiting for them to hit my local store is the 2011 Ramp Fest. The anticipation is unmanageable. Anyone else want to join me on the 30th from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. I will be the girl in all my ramp glory. Smiling and taking pictures and undoubtedly getting inspired by some amazing chefs in the Hudson Valley.

3. The sun.

I know it is hiding out there somewhere and it teases me just enough to let me know it’s coming. The grey needs to go away. And the sun needs to stay longer than a day. I have faith, it will stick around eventually.

4.  Over the next couple of  months our lives have been and continue to be filled with music… “everyone deserves music, sweet music.” ~ Michael Franti

We recently checked out Rachel Yamagata at the Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock, the Wood Brothers at Club Helsinki in Hudson, Bob Marley Tribute at the Bearsville Theatre and Badfish at The Chance in Poughkeepsie.

And on our plates is Mountain Jam at Hunter Mountain, Mendelson Men Choir at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston, Shemekia Copeland at Club Helsinki, Festival for Humanity in Vernon,  and the Dave Matthews Caravan in Atlantic City.

5. It’s hard to imagine BBQs and patio time when it is so grey out, but I am sure we will get there soon. Right?

Awake, thou wintry earth
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~ Thomas Blackburn from “An Easter Hymn”

My life seems to be on ff (fast forward). I would like to slow it down. I am going to work on that for the month of December.

And remembering that the last 11 months were full. Really full. And fast. Too fast.

I went to yoga for New Year’s Eve and brought 2011 in peacefully, quietly and wonderfully.

There was skiing, three 30th birthdays, gym, yoga and football.

I turned 28 in February and became a redhead.

I made homemade fortune cookies.

We saw Michael Franti and Spearhead and John Mayer at Madison Square Garden.

We celebrated Kim’s 30th in March. In Europe. With Dave. Nothing and everything was the same after that trip.

We saw Billy Joel and Elton John in Albany.

I ran the Shamrock Run. First and last race of the year.

There was yoga, birthdays, Artisnal cocktails and blind dates.

There was Team Pixie Dust dinner dance and Passover. For 20.

April brought bonfires, yoga, ACS gala, tres leche.

I took a Photoshop course, through a surprise party for my brother at Mercato and went to LA.

In May we went and met the Mendelsen men. It’s a choir. And we love them.

I got new couches, went to meditation, heard Nacirema, drank Grey Dog raspberry ice tea.

I signed a lease.

I cooked ramps.

Went on a booze cruise which lead to changing roles, rules and expectations. Thank you Universe for teaching without hurting too much.

And then I moved. In. With. A. Boy. Roommate.

Had my first and only deer encounter. “Welcome to the country,” I was told.

Went to Dave.

And Mountain Jam.

Baby showers, Relay for Life, babies, Band of Horses and painted the rest of June.

The 4th / housewarming extravaganza.

Then the summer went so fast all of our heads spun. There were concerts.

And backyard BBQs, bonfires, butterflies and sunsets.

My ridiculously fabulous sister turned 21. I remember the day she came home from the hospital. She was very little. She had a curly ‘do. She smelled new. She smirked before she smiled, screamed before she coohed and had me in the palm of her hand before she opened her big brown eyes. Apparently praying for a baby sister every night for nine months worked. Years have passed and there have been ups and downs, but she still made it with grace to the legal age. May she have 100 more birthdays just as great as this one. I will make cake for every single one.

One day two crazy gals ripped out a hot tub from the ground. And then the following weekend built a stone patio. Talk about surprising yourself.

We threw a “Hello Fall BBQ.” This was to subsidize the lack of an end of Summer BBQ. This is also when I learned that everyone doesn’t love parties as much as I do. And I also learned that the same people love me enough to have them anyway.

There was FOOTBALL. Every time we played football in the park I wanted to watch the Daria episode where she yells, “FOOTBALL.” It was my closest connection to my gut reaction in playing the sport. I just wrote playing a sport and me in the same sentence. I think we should call someone about this.

In October I sent off a dear friend to California, my wingwoman. It was sad. I made cake. And that’s all I’m gunna say about that.

There were trips to walking towns, Sunday night dinners and the change of the seasons.

We celebrated Halloween (my most favorite holiday) with a house party. There was decorations, shenanigans and lots of laughter. Please note “Party’s Here” carving stage right.

We went to Philly to cheer on my brother-from-another-mother in his second marathon.

The gaping hole in this 2010 recap will be from mid-November to mid-December. That’s when everyday seemed to be, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Throw in a 10 year high school reunion, a few mind games and a dash of depression and we’ve covered that chunk of time just fine.

On to the end of December. We bought a Christmas tree. It was a humorous experience and worth every second guess of the “perfect” tree.


Holiday cheer and snow arrived around the same time.

Here we are. Prepping for New Year’s Eve again. How did that happen?

Wishing you all the best for 2011. Thank you for being here and allowing my creative outlet to invade your screen. I have a lot of faith that the best is yet to come. A lot.

Author’s Acknowledgment of Ridiculousness: All names have been changed to protect the innocent, not-so-innocent and the people the author would still like to have a chance of dating in the future.

Thea
September 29 at 9:39am

First, please tell Wayne that I believe in the institution of a relationship and I do not want him to break up with his girlfriend. Unless of course he wants to and then by all means he’s a free agent and has my number. But, overall I am not one of those people who think after 3 years of being together that some semi-drunk girl should tell you what to do just because you sang together. Then again maybe I’m on to something. Strike that from the convo. And just give him the apology part.

Second, best phone call of the day was at 8:38 am today. Hello, Hello, Who is this?, Who is this?, Well, I have this number in my phone and I have no idea how it got there or who it was, Who is this?, Weldon, Ohhh… you’re the guy who bought me a drink last night, thanks for remembering, Oh, Well, Um well have a nice day.

Third, Irish car bombs are never a good idea. Ever. Please ignore me anytime I say they are a good idea. Please. And. Thank you.

Fourth, Need honest read on my signing ability and if I should refrain from further such behavior at future outings? I want the truth, even though I say lie to me all the time.

Fifth, Any idea who grabbed my arm last night? I have one of those lovely fingerprint black and blues coming through my pasty white skin.

Sixth, same time, same place next week?

 – – –

Heather September 29 at 10:07am

Ha!!!!!!!! This email makes me ridiculously happy.

1) I actually feel no need at all for you to apologize to Wayne, but I will tell him you said so. On a side tangent: His relationship with Wendy has always confused me (never seemed all that into her), but what the hell do I know anyway? He did mention to me that you “took a shine” to him, and I told him that you two would make a good pair, so i am just as guilty as you ; ) He actually responded quickly with the Wendy factor, so maybe he IS starting to feel some loyalty to her. Who knew?

2) Who calls ANYONE at 8:38am in the morning?!?! Especially just to find out who a number is? Isn’t it kind of a default that if you don’t know a number, you probably met them at a bar the night before? Unless you fell somewhere and hit your head, then it opens the possibility to other options. But really, the bar is most likely.

3) I disagree completely with your car bomb diagnosis. I think the actual problem is a lack of a teleportation device to get one home. Or to another bar.

4) DO NOT refrain from singing. It’s fun and goofy, and those are two of your personality traits that I adore. And this is about my needs, so I want you to continue singing. Done.

5) My money is on one of the drunken dudes (perhaps Weldon?) grabbing your arm. Unless Leon had to pull you out of the bar to leave. Then my money would be on her. : )

6) You betcha!!!

Very fun night! And I am even starting to shake my hangover headache! Perhaps I would have thought different about point # 3 if Excedrin did not exist.

– – –

Thea September 29 at 11:23am

a. Well apparently Wayne is not upset with me as I have already received a friend request. Perhaps I should write on his wall an apology about how I am sure after a few choice encounters that I clearly know what is better for him and what he should do with his life. I mean, we sang together, that is moments away from a lifelong friendship of beer. Or in my case vodka.

b. Agreed on all points. Perhaps he didn’t make the cougar connection in his hangover daze. And again, agreed.

c. Teleportation is one of my of my favorite concepts of all time. It’s my go to “if I was a superhero” powers. That and being the bionic woman. But if I had to choice it would be teleportation, I wouldn’t want to be greedy.

d. Thank you for the vote of singing confidence, but I have to say you didn’t tell me if I suck at it or not, you just said it’s for your own personal enjoyment. Sigh.

e. I will ask Leon. She is prolly the best bet. Or Waylon, Weldon, Wyatt or Wayne. Nah, they weren’t that good.  BTW total segway. When I first met Waylon (who K8 and I call Pants), I called him Wayne for days and days in conversations. Somehow I couldn’t get it straight in my head. So now having them both in my conversation points is creating a total mindf*ck. Crap. Need another nickname stat. And another segway, which should prolly be in “f” but will stay here, Pants texted me this morning. Interesting development if I say so myself.

f. Fab. I am going to recruit.

All the best in getting over your hangover. Apparently I have laughed mine away recounting last night ridiculousness. And fabulocity.

– – –

Heather September 29 at 12:07pm

I. It’s difficult to recall life before Facebook. Remember when you could do something embarrassing at a bar one night and NEVER SEE THAT PERSON AGAIN?! You didn’t wake up to tagged photos, wall posts and emails. You had some privacy and could maintain some dignity. It’s a world I can remember if I squint my eyes and think real hard. That being said, it’s a world I wouldn’t want to go back to, and yes, I think a wall post is a fabulous idea : )

II. My go-to superhero power is the power to raise the dead. This is not for the noble reasons you might assume, but because I am sometimes lazy or late, and prefer to not have a deadline. To save someone, you have to be there on time. To raise the dead, you can take your sweet time.

III. While I would never tell you if I thought you did suck (mostly because I like to giggle, and I feel strongly that karaoke is a good investment in causing laughter—esp when the person *thinks* they are good), I can tell you that you didn’t. That’s all I remember though. I just know I would have noticed if I thought you sucked, but instead I just enjoyed the show. Oh, and apparently took pictures of. LOTS of pics.

– – –

Thea September 29 at 3:12pm 

Well then, I think we are left with me singing with the band, taking / being tagged in lots of pictures, teleporting and maintaining a “friendly” intoxication.

Why, hello there little peaches that I picked from my backyard. It’s very nice to meet you and your little friends.

From the HOUSE peachtree

When told of your arrival, most reactions from my country bumpkin’ friends included a sweet serenades of this:

I personally was thinking with much excitement and joy this:

And about all of the wonderful things I could make with you. Especially this from the Pioneer Woman. This from Smitten Kitchen. And this from Joy the Baker.

Happy 4th of July to my sweet little guests, you are going to be a major star at the housewarming party this weekend.

And from 1991, and no other reason that I heart this song, sweet America:

I am completely blessed to have the opportunity to go to Europe again, just a few short months since I returned from Italia.

My best wingwoman and I will be seeing Dave Matthews Band and the sites in Antwerp, Amsterdam and London.

It’s a quick trip with only a few days in each city. So we have to pack light and take mental pictures the whole time, just to make sure we don’t miss anything.

Stay tuned for a post travel recap. Wish you could feel the excitement through this very page. Woot woot!

Sometimes is only takes a few bars of a song to make the world seem a little smaller, things a little more manageable and a smile to appear on your face. This is one of many songs that do that for me.

This song also means a lot to other people I know. The friend who played in on repeat because it made her feel closer to the ones she loves. The uncle who secretly loves the song as much as the rest of his family. The aunt who introduced me to the Spearhead movement. The mother who likes the up tempo tunes versus the harder rap / reggae selections.

And to think Michael Franti was in my life pre / post country. Music tastes don’t always have to change just because you are changing everything else.

1. A Mexican start of the year
2. Birthdays in Pallenville, East Village, West Side and Upper East Side
3.  Spiritual exploration
4. ‘Cuse basketball
5. An Eagles Superbowl
6. Key West
7. The flu
8. Forest Hills
9. East End
10. Meditation
11. Cousin visits
12. 27th birthday 
13. Reiki
14. BANGS
15. Hoboken
16. March madness
 17. Relay for Life Kickoff 18. BP scare 19. Happy hours 19. Dane Cook 20. A special return from Afghanistan 21. NYU reunion 22. Nacirema 24. Egg coloring 25. Team Pixie Dust dinner dance 26. Kelly’s baby shower 27. DMB in NJ 28. Broadway 29. Off Broadway 30. New blackberry 31. Wrobel leaves 32. Roofdecks 33. Boys 34. Bars 35. ACS Gala 36. Relay for Life 37. DMB at the Today Show 38. Smelly in DC 39. Indigo Girls in Central Park 39. Cami’s wedding shower / last night out 40. Another new blackberry 41. I heart NY 42. Leaving NY 43. Randall’s Island 44. Pinkberry 45. DMB at Jones Beach 46. A million good-byes 47. Cami’s wedding 48. San Francisco 49. Cowardly lion 50. Being art at the Moma 51. Move 52. Kingston 53. Yoga 54. Online dating 55. Patty McGees 56. Ryan 57. Garlic Festival 58. Taste of New Paltz 59. Local brewery 60. Woodstock 61. Art 62. Music 63. Life 64. Pipop 65. No place like home 66. 11 years 67. Italy 68. Bread and cheese 69. A real gym membership 70. Visiting / back and forth 71. Cookies and cocktails 72. First snow 73. Cookie exchange 74. Gifts that can’t be wrapped 75. Reunions 76. Zoey 77. City Mouse in the Country 78. Kundalini 79. Freelance 80. A handbag 81. Step class 82. Others divorce 83. Baking 84. Romemu 85. Storage 86. In-house again 87. Obama 88. Tree of Life 89. No more exes 90. Ginger vodka 90. BSC customers 91. Guided imagery 92. Snow gear 93. Hudson River 94. Having a big brother again 95. The ever present mountains 96. Guidance and support 97. Fleeting sanity 98. Wingwomen 99. Travel plans 100. Death 101. Life

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