my favorite riffs

My Favorite Riffs

When I saw the daily prompt  I was super excited to write about my favorite riffs.  I love music!  Undoubtedly, music plays an important role in my life.  It truly makes my world go round.  Unquestionably, my dad was a huge influence on my musical taste, which you’ll see in the list below.  For this list, I’ve put them in no specific order.  Moreover, while I’m not writing specifically about guitar riffs, I think you’ll find guitar riffs are heavily favored in my list.

Here’s a list of my favorite riffs (in no particular order) to include the music video where available:

15.  Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne

14. Revolution by The Beatles

13. Enter Sandman by Metallica

12. Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N’ Rose

11.  Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

10.  Machinehead by Bush

9.  You Shook Me All Night Long

8.  Day Tripper by the Beatles

7. Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes

6.  Sunshine of Your Love by Cream

5.  Walk This Way by Aerosmith

4.  Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin

3.  Zombie by the Cranberries

2.   Back in Black by AC/DC

1.  Layla by Eric Clapton

 

There you have it, my short list of my favorite riffs.  Not surprisingly, I have many of these songs on both my hockey and my 5k playlist.  Are any of these songs on your playlist?  If so, which ones?  If not, what’s on your list of favorite riffs?

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My iPhone X

My iPhone X

The iPhone X is finally here!  Ok, I acquiesce it was here last Friday the 3rd.  Importantly, My iPhone X arrived today.  While my Iphone 6 has served me well lasting well over 3.5 years, it is nearly ancient in phone terms and starting to show its age.  As excited as I have been about my new phone, my boys have been even more excited.  They were both dancing with glee when they saw it had arrived today.

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Consequently, the I received a call from the Mayor as I was drove up the turnpike.  The Mayor isn’t one to wait around for answers, so I was not surprised at all by this.  He and Goalielocks were fighting over who was going to get to open my phone.  The Mayor was busy pleading his case as Goalielocks was shouting he called it in the background.  Sensing his brother’s annoyance level rising, the Mayor proceeded to thank me for letting him open it.  Naturally, this made Goalielocks go ballistic.  Meanwhile, I’m telling the Mayor to stop saying these things that are clearly untrue.  I was finally able to get a word in edgewise and disappoint them both with the news that neither would open it.   Instead I would wait for them both to leave for hockey practice before I would open it myself.

After seeing pictures of shattered phones, I opened my new phone gingerly. I started setting it up before my Barre class.  Honestly, I’m proud of myself for putting down the Iphone X and heading to Xtend Barre.  It was seriously tempting to stay home to setup and play around with the phone.  Nevertheless, I exercised some discipline and headed to the Barre.  As usual, Adam kicked our butts in new and inventive ways.  I’m sure my legs, abs and arms will be screaming tomorrow.

I activated the phone and finished the setup operations between sauteing the chicken and cooking rice.  The first thing the boys wanted to see once they boys got home from practice was my new phone.  As soon as they got in the door, they rushed over to see the new phone.  Namely, they wanted to see what it looks like and how it works compared to their phones.  I played around with some of the camera features, which pepper this blog.  I cannot wait to try out the camera tomorrow.  There are features that I still haven’t tried like the emoji maker, but I’ll have plenty for that.   It will take me awhile to get accustomed to the X as it is  quite different from the 6.  Nonetheless, I’m quite excited for my new toy.

Tonight’s song – love it –  is an awesome flashback to the 90’s with  Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta.”  I heard this song on the radio today as I drove and it brought me back to the 90s.

Dancin' in the Rain

Dancin’ in the Rain

Is there anything more cathartic than dancin’ in the rain? I tend to think not.  In all actuality, now that I live in a place where the rain is warm, I don’t even mind dancing in the real rain.  There’s no mystery to why I teach Zumba several week nights.  First, it helps cover the boys expensive hockey habit.  Secondly, and most importantly, it is my sanity keeper.  Even when I’ve had the worst day at work, I leave my Zumba class refreshed, happy and ready to take on the world.

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Dance has magical properties that lifts burdens from our shoulders.  I see it in my Zumba students and myself.  At the start of class, we all look a little more serious and stressed than we do at the end.  To be clear it isn’t only dance that achieves this, however, dancing in my mind is a lot more fun running.  Whatever gets you moving and gets your endorphins pumping will put you in a good space.

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So if you’re having a rough day and thinking about skipping your workout, don’t do it.  Get up and give yourself the gift of dance, running, weights, barre, hockey or whatever your workout of choice may be.  I know its super tempting to sit and binge watch Stranger Things 2, but put it off for at least a 1/2 and get moving.

“Dancin’ in the rain
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
I’m happy again!
I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain”

 
Be the Reason

Be The Reason

Be the reason someone smiles today! Regardless of how you feel, choose to rise above the fray.  Indeed, choose to be kind, choose to be sincere, and choose to champion the beautiful people in your life.  Lastly, wishing the blogosphere a very Happy (and sinus infection free) Tuesday!

Epiphany

Epiphany

Tonight as I drove up the turnpike jamming to some righteous tunes (channeling Wayne and Garth here), I had an epiphany as I listened to some George Harrison.  Particularly I was listening to “Got My Mind Set On You.”  This track was initially released by James Ray and written by Rudy Clark.  Interestingly, this is one of the few covers Harrison did during his solo career.  The track was produced by fellow Wilbury Jeff Lynne and Harrsion.

While I’m sure you’re fascinated with the musical history that really wasn’t the epiphany I had while driving.  Rather as I listened intently to the lyrics, I became convinced the song writer wrote the song with travel hockey parents in mind.  Obviously, Rudy ClarK was insanely ahead of his time seeing as how the song was written in 1952.

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I realize this is quite the risky conjecture, but stick with me here.  Consider the following lyrics:
“But it’s gonna take money
A whole lot of spending money
It’s gonna take plenty of money
To do it right child”
As you may recall from my blog post $15 Billion,   it takes a whole lot of money to fund a youth athlete these days.  Clark clearly envisioned this when writing the above noting that it will take plenty of money to do it right.

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The next stanza continues to articulate the hockey mom life:
“It’s gonna take time
A whole lot of precious time
It’s gonna take patience and time, um
To do it, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it
To do it right child”
Rudy Clark was obviously a clairvoyant song writer that saw the future of youth sports.   Specifically, he clearly saw that it  would be all consuming.  It would consume all of the parents’ time, money and patience.  I know, I know.  It is mind blowing!

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To be honest, in honor of Facebook’s latest acquisition, I’ve never heard the version from 1962.  Moreover,  I really don’t need to.  I love what Harrison and Lynne did with the track and its quintessential 80’s sound.  Without reservation, it is absolute perfection.  You’ll find the perfectly 80’s music video below.

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You know what isn’t absolute perfection?  Coming home from work to a laundry room flooded with laundry detergent.  Awesome, right?  The floor, usually white, is completely covered in blue, clean smelling liquid detergent.  It took a minute for the reality to sink in as I tried to figure out how this could possibly happen.  Honestly, I shouldn’t be surprised since I live in a house of all boys, but even they can surprise you.   Who would have thought I’d come home to a Defcon 5 laundry detergent flood?  There is an upside to this insanity.  Yep, it is true.   My laundry room actually does not smell like hockey for the first time since early August, .   As a hint to all boys out there, these are not the types of surprises your mothers enjoy.   We like roses, chocolates, coffee, nice clothes or maybe a new handbag.

 

Fraud

Fraud

As I thought about today’s daily prompt fraud, I came across this quote from Sophocles, “rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.”   It really spoke to me because I’d rather fail honorably than “succeed” fraudulently.  Bernie Madoff was once a darling to many as he provided them rich returns on their investments.  For years, Madoff lived the high life, but as is always the case his fraud was unveiled.  Deservedly,  he’ll spend the rest of his life rotting in jail.

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I think we can all understand the attraction, right?  It appears to be the easiest, most expeditious route to the top.  Moreover, it can be frustrating seeing dishonorable people succeed while you struggle. I’m sure many felt Madoff wasn’t on the up and up, but didn’t have the proof until 2008. Nevertheless, we cannot give in to the temptation.   Remember the fastest path isn’t always the right path.  A path pave b

Here are some of my least favorite frauds:

  • Vegan cheese – I could easily be a vegetarian, but as Meatloaf would say, “I’d do anything for love, but I wouldn’t do that….” No vegan cheese for me.
  • Equifax’s web security                                                                TPYznCi.gif
  • KUWTK – I won’t even dignify them by spelling out their show.
  • WWE- Closest thing to wrestling I enjoyed was Hogan Knows Best and that wasn’t real either.
  • Fake news
  • Fake friends – don’t be a plastic                         .tumblr_mhtj2cKMrP1rv3b62o1_500.gif
  • Decaffeinated coffee – this is perhaps the worst offender of them all.  At this point in my life, I need a daily IV drip of fully caffeinated coffee.                                                There-is-a-time-and-place-for-decaf-coffee.png

Tonight’s music selection is John’s Lennon’s diss track for Paul

 

A Day that calls for courage

A Day That Calls For Courage

Today was a Monday for the history books, a day that calls for courage.  As we woke up in America, we woke up to the horrid news that 50 innocent souls had been slaughtered in Vegas.  Like many Americans, I struggled to make sense of the carnage.  Indeed I left my house with a sick feeling in my stomach and an ache in my heart.

Fortunately, my day was busy and my mind was occupied for a large part of it.  I did my best to avoid Facebook like the plague.  Sadly, what was once a nice escape to check in on friends, has become a bastion of hate masquerading as advocacy and opinion.  Somehow we’ve lost our perspective and our ability to respect others’ whose opinions may be different.  How is it that a VP for a major news network felt it was okay to say that she had no sympathy for the victims because country music fans are often Republicans?   How is okay that we, as a society, would even think someone’s life is less valuable because they disagree with us politically? Whiskey tango foxtrot….

The only acceptable response to any of this bullsh#t is the quote from Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen Silveria as he addressed the racist messages that had been written on the doors of African American cadets.  He said, “if you can’t treat someone from another gender, whether that’s a man or a woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out.  And if you can’t treat someone from another race or different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.”  Importantly, it is possible to have differing opinions, but if you can’t treat everyone with dignity and respect, than I have no time for you.

Monday was bad enough and then the news updates starting popping in that Tom Petty had taken ill with a massive heart attack.  Once again, the pit returned to my stomach.  Tom Petty has been a major player in the soundtrack of my life.  I love Tom Petty and his music.

Long ago, as a child, so not really that long ago, my dad introduced me and my brother’s to Tom Petty. One of my fondest memories from childhood was when my parents had taken us to an airshow to see the Air Force’s Thunderbirds. Before the Thunderbirds took to the air, there were a number acts including the Army’s Golden Knights.  As the paratroopers took to the sky for their performance, Tom Petty’s Free Falling blared over the live speakers.  It was an amazing moment that has stuck with me for nearly 20 years.  Over the past couple of years, my boys have come to love Petty’s music as much (if not more) as me.

The news of his apparent demise and then the retraction just exacerbated the pain of the day.  Concerts are supposed to be an escape where the artist and the fan are able to interact.  They’re supposed to be a place where the music transports you and the experience leaves you feeling more connected to the musician and the music.  Unbelievably, the sicko in Vegas made the concert his opportunity to destroy many peoples’ worlds in one fell swoop.  There is no other word to describe him than evil.

Tonight we mourn the loss of innocent lives and a rock icon.  Its been a heavy day; a  that calls for courage.  These kind of days can be destructive to our mental, emotional and physical health.   Consequently, it is important to find ways to cope with the stress.  For me and my family, it was continuing our athletic pursuits.  While the bookends both had hockey tonight, I taught Zumba and ended class with a tribute to Tom Petty.  I never thought I use a Travelling Wilbury’s song in Zumba, but I used Handle With Care for a cool down and it felt incredible.   Finally, tonight I’ve peppered my blog with songs for inspiration.  Enjoy and namaste.

 

 

When Life Happens

As we get older, leave college, get a job, get married, etc, we quickly settle into our routine.  When life happens it is easy to lose our creativity.   We become so busy that the creative outlets of our your get pushed aside.   Here’s the problem with all of that.  Our creative outlets be it writing, photography, painting or singing not only relieve stress, but they stoke the creative fire of our minds.  Even creative outlets, like painting for me, that are sources of painful reminders of art class failures can stoke that creative fire while healing the soul.

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When we let our creative self go dormant, our thinking becomes constrained.  We get stuck in the rut of life and the rat race.  The issues is you don’t know what has been lost until it has been rediscovered.  As a matter of dealing with grief, I started this blog and began writing again.  The consequence is the way I think and approach the world is changing.  It is broadening with my creative outlets and I’m finding myself thinking more creatively and productively about the challenges I face at work or home.

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Note about the pictures:  I picked the pictures of Jake for this post because of the creative composition of both poses.  I took the the featured image was on Mt. Ulricken in Bergen during this trip.  Jake’s best friend took the photo on the stairs in Venice.  The painting was my second attempt at paint and sip with Debbie and family.  I redid the Eifle Tower about 80 times, but it still looks like a rocket ship.  I took the last photo while on the boat in Flam.

Live and Let Die

Paul McCartney sang 39 songs on Friday night as he opened the second leg of his One on One 2017 tour here in Miami.  He was amazing. I’m already scheming to try and see him again in September, hey a girl can hope….

One of the most amazing performances of the evening was Live and Let Die.  The second to last song before the encore, Live and Let Die was a thrilling, adrenaline filled experience including the pyrotechnics.  The band’s performance was absolutely savage.  I had to keep reminding myself that he’s in his 70s….  I pray that when I am in my mid-70s, I am that youthful, agile and energetic.  Paul is an absolute beast.

Our Night With Sir Paul McCartney

Last night’s Paul McCartney concert was one of the most incredible, amazing, wonderful experiences I have had to date and honestly those superlatives don’t describe the night adequately.  A living legend, whose talents are as timeless as he is, put on a show many half his age couldn’t muster.  I grew up listening to the Beatles, their subsequent solo projects and the music they inspired (like jangle rock), so his music has been a significant part of the soundtrack of my life.  When I danced with my father at my wedding, it was to the Beatles’ In My Life.  (Yes, I realize it is a John song.)

He recounted many amazing moments he witnessed throughout his career.  Including how Jimi Hendrix played Sgt. Pepper’s at his concerts a mere two days after it was released. While that in itself is impressive, the best part of the story was how after using the banger bar Jimi’s guitar was out of tune and he started calling out for Eric.  That Eric was Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix was trying to call him up on stage to tune his guitar.

For my son, this was the chance to see an icon and one of his musical heroes.  He could guess the song based on the guitar they handed Paul.  He was thrilled when Paul opened the show with a Hard Day’s Night and even noticed when he ended You Won’t See Me with the song’s opening chord. Paul played songs from across his career including the earliest song recorded by the Beatles, which Jacob knew right away as In Spite of Danger a Quarryman song.

More videos and stories to follow tomorrow.