I think art inspires art; that’s why I’ve filled my house with music that inspires my cooking and paintings and photographs that inspire my music, and vice versa. It’s all connected for me. I couldn’t just commit to do one thing. I want more. -Jessie Baylin
May 26, 2011
May 10, 2011
The following shows are ones that I know I’d love. Based on friends and reviews, they are right up my alley. Now that I work from home and have a kid, sitting down to watch a TV show (either on TV or on the computer) seems like a luxury. I feel like there are better ways I should spend my time … and yet, these are calling out to me in the still of the night: “Waaaatch meeee….. you’lll loooove me and laaaauugh still your siiiides hurt ….” (I’m not sure why they call out to me like ghosts, but I just go with it.)
A few random thoughts:
- “Friday Night Lights” is the only non-comedy. I like to laugh. If I’m going to watch a series or a movie, it better be good if it’s not funny. Conversely, it can be bad and funny and I’ll still watch it. I like to laugh.
- I’ve never thought to consider which network is pumping out the shows I would most like, but apparently NBC’s the big winner here.
- I have seen a handful of 30 Rocks and Parks & Recreations and enjoyed them (“30 Rock” especially) but it’s just committing to watch them all that’s the hard part.
- In the case of some shows like “Mad Men” or “Lost,” you feel like it’s just too late to watch if you’re not watching from the beginning with the rest of the world. Part of the fun is interacting with your friends as they follow the show as well. (Then again, I don’t regret a minute of watching “Arrested Development” even after it was no longer on air.)
What show do you really want to watch or follow but haven’t?
May 9, 2011
Life as a mom in a city that’s out-of-the-way does not afford many opportunities to stay on top of the live music scene. Nevertheless, after attending an amazing live show by Brooke Fraser recently (see above photo), I’ve got the live music bug.
Here are 8 artists I’d love to see live. This year if possible. Some are hot new trendy artists, others are ones I’ve loved for a while and listen to everyday.
Sadly, only one of them is coming to Orlando (John Legend) but he’s opening for Sade and tickets are $63. It’s also in an arena. Pretty sure I’ll pass since he’s just the opener.
Adele is sold out at every show. I got excited when I didn’t see a “sold out” on her Asheville show the week I’m going to be near there, but when I went to get tickets they were in fact sold out. That would be one amazing show. (Congratulations to all those who have acquired tickets.)
What tours do you want to see this year?
May 8, 2011
These are the top 10 celebrities I consistently confuse. It’s not that some of them look similar (although some of them do). I think it more has to do with the time they were introduced into my conscience. They are filed away in the same cranial drawer, and sometimes the wrong folder is retrieved.
Amy Sedaris & Amy Poehler
Hilarious small blond women.
There probably exists no two more radically different people. The only thing they probably have in common is their profession. But again, somehow they sometimes occupy the same space in my head.
Jamie Lee Curtis & Sigourney Weaver
This comparison comes courtesy of my friend Nick Flora. It’s in his Twitter bio. When I saw it, I thought, That’s funny. And yes, I could see that.
Nick Nolte & Gary Busey
This one’s so universal there are entire blog posts dedicated to whether or not this is in fact the same person.
Robert de Niro & Al Pacino
The Meet the Parents franchise pretty much cleared this up for me, but for a while there, mafia guys were mafia guys. They were all the same.
What celebrities do you get confused?
May 7, 2011
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I just finished Tina Fey’s Bossypants at the recommendation of a friend, who said I remind him of her in some ways. Flattered, I knew I had to read it immediately and find every possible correlation in our lives. Henceforth, here are 15 ways I am just like Tina Fey.
- We are women.
- We are writers.
- We are married to a man named Jeff from Pennsylvania. (I do not believe it is the same one.)
- Both of our first names have four letters. (Our husband, Jeff, pointed this out.)
- We are producers. (Except in my field it’s called an editor.)
- We have each published a book.
- We both gave birth to female babies during the years 2005-2007.
- We are between 9-11 years younger than our husband. (I’m just assuming at this point it’s the same guy.)
- We share similar philosophies and experiences when it comes to cruising. (Except mine didn’t involve a fire and evacuation.)
- We share similar philosophies and experiences when it comes to breastfeeding.
- We both have facial scars. (Everyone asks about hers. No one asks about mine. No, it’s okay, really. You don’t have to ask next time you see me. I’ll just write a blog post about it. It’ll be fine.)
- We have experienced gender prejudice in the workplace.
- We have both agonized and tortured ourselves over whether or not to have a second child.
- We like to tell jokes. (She gets paid to do it. I get advised in private to think twice before I tweet.)
- We wear glasses and sometimes contacts.
Okay, so some of this is a stretch, and we really don’t have that much in common.
But the appeal of women like Tina Fey, Ree Drummond and other strong women in the media that I look up to is that they’re transparent with their life experiences, and their struggles are universal. Women like me can relate with them — even if our lives are drastically different. (i.e. If I could ever produce a body of work for public consumption, and consequently a girl writes a blog post on the 10 ways she’s just like me, I’ll know I’ve succeeded.)
The point of all this is that Tina Fey has a great book (as long as you don’t mind some of the most creative forms of cursing I’ve seen this side of “The Sopranos”) and that you should go buy it or borrow it immediately — right after you buy my book, of course, which has significantly fewer cuss words (and is $3 cheaper).
At the release of her book last month it was announced that Tina is pregnant with their second child. This is clearly the work of genius of two levels:
- First it’s marketing gold. You simply cannot buy publicity like that. Ask Lindsay Lohan.
- Secondly, on a personal level, the news and birth of your second child will never match the level of excitement that comes with your first. It’s like a second marriage – “Oh, they’re trying this kid thing again. Let’s see if they can get this one right.” So she’s a genius for being able to muster interest on a national scale for the biological function of her uterus.
And since I’m clearly trying to pattern my life after hers, I will now immediately run out and get pregnant as well and try to time the news to coincide with the release of my upcoming e-book. The news is sure to make The Drudge Report, don’t you think?
May 6, 2011
I love giving Madilyn surprises occasionally when I pick her up from school. But lately she’s come to expect them. When I picked her up today she asked in her sweetest voice if I had a surprise for her.
I didn’t. Her disappointment was palpable.
I had $2 in CVS bucks so I took her across the street and told her she could pick out something for $5 or less. As she perused the toy aisle, her eyes lit up at the site of a Polly Pocket set with no less than 20 little pieces of plastic trash that I could only imagine strewn about in every crevice of our fine 1980s home in two weeks or less. It was $16.
No dice, I told her. Keep looking.
Then she found it. It was a Play-Doh set with several instruments for manipulating that magical benign mass of colored dough: two molds, plastic scissors and two other tools I couldn’t decipher uses for. It was perfect. The price was right and we were on our way.
Three hours later I found Play-Doh smashed in the living room rug, sandwiched in her pink plastic Barbie laptop and spread across the top of our $250 custom ottoman.
And then it happened.
A commercial came on the television for something involving hair, pink, plastic, sparkles, glitter and probably unicorn byproducts.
MOMMY!! THAT’S WHAT I WANT!
All the sudden she no longer wanted the Play-Doh set. She wanted me to take it back and get her this new shiny thing she saw on TV that promised eternal happiness and everlasting popularity.
I told her she had already made her decision. We had already opened the Play-Doh and it was now officially apart of our home decor for at least the next eight years.
At nearly 4 years old, taking responsibility for your actions is a concept not to be grasped. When you change your mind, you change your mind. Resistance shouldn’t be part of the equation.
I sentenced her to her room for crying (I know, I know … the Mother-of-the-Year people have already contacted me about my nomination.)
As she cried herself to a drowsy stupor, I couldn’t help but see myself in those sweet blue eyes that were now spitting out tears like a lawn sprinkler on the fritz.
I’m just like her.
I have a dream I want so badly right now I can’t see straight sometimes. And I have the hardest time owning up to the fact that I made all the decisions that brought me to my current reality. I made the choices of my own volition, and now that I’ve changed my mind, I’m as pouty as a school girl that I can’t have what I really want. Not yet anyway.
I stroked Madilyn’s hair and reminded her that her birthday is coming up very soon, and that I was sure she would get a lot of fun toys then — maybe even unicorn byproducts. That seemed to satisfy her and soon she fell asleep.
Maybe what I want isn’t too far off either.
I’ll sleep on it.
April 8, 2011
While I’m certain I’ll be processing what I learned on my re:create conference Caribbean cruise for quite some time to come, here is a brief overview.
The sessions were packed with encouragement and ideas. I hope my notes are sufficient to unpack them.
1. Discipline is the key to creativity.
Michael Hyatt and Ken Davis’s talks centered heavily on the role discipline plays in creating art and living fully. Creating is work. Living intentionally is work. And to accomplish anything takes consistent effort.
2. Obedience is the key to faith.
Pete Wilson talked about how pain in life is inevitable; how we respond makes all the difference. We’re to live like someone who is confident God is with them (even when it feels like He’s not). Obedience and principled living carry you through the hard times.
3. Knowing who you are is the key to becoming who you were created to be.
Randy Elrod’s talk was deep – intellectually and emotionally. It centered on the roles that empathy, intuition and charisma play in your art. He encouraged us to find the place where our passion intersects a need. There we will find our creative sweet spot.
4. Cruises are not for me.
The conference was the reason I went on the cruise, and thankfully I was not disappointed. But I found that cruising in general does not suit me well. Between feeling woozy 80% of the time and feeling trapped on the boat, I’m confident my future vacations will be on dry land.
Other than that, I’m grateful to have heard the powerful life messages from these accomplished artists and for the whispers of grace for my own life throughout the week. My heart is full and stirred.
What speaker or author has inspired you lately and why?
March 29, 2011
This time next week I’ll be cruisin’ with Pete Wilson, Michael and Gail Hyatt, Ken Davis, Randy and Chris Elrod and a host of others on a Caribbean cruise for Christian creatives. We’ll be sailing aboard the Celebrity Century after departing from Miami. Our stops include Ocho Rios, Jamaica and George Town, Grand Cayman. The theme of the cruise is “The Creative Life” and it’s for worship leaders, book authors, recording artists, graphic artists and bloggers. 4 out of 5 ain’t bad, so I thought it would be a good fit.
- The Creative Life: How We Work
- The Creative Life: How We Worship
- The Creative Life: How We Love
- The Creative Life: How We Enjoy
I am so pumped to have such a unique opportunity to connect with this group and spend a week reflecting and growing. It’ll be my first time on a cruise as well, so I’m looking forward to a new adventure … I only with you were going with me!
March 22, 2011
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It’s no secret I’m a fan of Michael McDonald. I have been since college and anytime I get a chance to go see him – well, I jump at it. I realize that when I go to shows, I pull down the median age by like 20 years. It’s okay. I embrace it.
He came through town this weekend and played at the Hard Rock Cafe. Last time Jeff and I saw him it was at the Ford Amphitheater in Tampa like three years ago or so. He was too far away. I didn’t like it.
Saturday was much better.
We had fourth row center stage tickets and we could see the spit and sweat fly. Now that’s more like it.
We made a date night out of it, eating beforehand at J.Alexander’s. It was Jeff’s first time eating there and my first time at that location. It was DI-VINE! It was a great, relaxing precursor to the show.
We walked through Universal Citywalk – stopping for some TCBY on our way to the theater. Three lines snaked into the building, slowed by security guards checking purses. One remarked that there wasn’t much to worry about – this was a “bathing & washing crowd.” I loved that. And yet – they kept the signs up that says no moshing or crowd surfing. Hey, you never know … Lionel Richie reminded us to dance on the ceiling instead.
Jeff texted a teacher friend of his whom he knew was coming to the show and it ended up she had seats two down from ours. So that was cool. The folks sitting directly next to us were so chill and kind. We chatted it up a bit before the show, comparing how many times we had seen Michael in concert. Of course I beat that competition hands down. This was their first show. I told her about seeing him in Tampa, Nashville and Vegas, and how when he’s on the road he tends to gain weight. When he’s off, he trims up. My neighbor joked and asked, “Is this the beginning of the tour or the end?”
As we’re chatting and waiting for the show to start, a white-headed man comes to the piano, making last-minute adjustments. People start cheering. I look at my neighbor friend and say, “That’s not him, is it?” “Can’t be,” she says. This exchange happens at least three more times as this guy keeps coming out with the crew, tinkering with stuff. Although he’s got the white hair, the frame is totally different – and he’s about 100 pounds lighter. There’s no way! But it had to be him! Who else could it be? It was too dark to decipher. All four of us went back and forth. If that was him he looks way too thin. Is he sick? Is he okay? There were so many questions…..
….Until the lights came on and he came out in all his regular-sized glory. Michael McDonald would not be Michael McDonald without his black T-shirt, jeans and some padding. He’s like comfort food. We need him to be that way. Please don’t ever change.
He started the show on a somber note – dedicating the evening to a fan who had become a friend who passed away recently. He sang “Peace,” which is on his Christmas album and one of my favorite songs of his. I love that Michael’s not afraid to pepper in his faith into his songs and set lists. He began his encore with an instrumental of “Amazing Grace.” Last time we saw him he tore up Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Speaking of songwriters, Michael McDonald is the songwriter’s songwriter. He always gives credit to songwriters and is always quick to share the stage and the credit with other musicians and singers. I remember getting his DVD once and being disappointed that he wasn’t in it more – he readily gives up his platform to highlight the talents of others. We should all be so generous with ours.
It was a great crowd and a great show and I was thankful for the chance to go.
Who’s your favorite artist to see in concert?
February 6, 2011
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in reverse chronological order:
Is that magic shell on his head?
The world needs LO E.
My twitter feed is a lot more entertaining than this halftime show right now…
They just became carebears.
I’m so embarrassed, I just bought the same plastic hair helmet as will.i.am. Now I can’t wear it.
Half time show sponsored by Tron? #SB11
The sound guy is apparently asleep at the superbowl
Fergies futuristic costume proved exactly what I already knew: She’s gonna look beat in the future too.
Where can I get those shoulder pads Fergie is wearing? Think they’re perfect for me. #BEP #halftime