{December 31, 2013}   Blatant Show Off

The pictures are coming out in little trickles but the least I can do is share one pic of me and my band and yes, I’m the girl in red singing.
Much more to follow as everyone recovers and shares their photos from the night, but since I’m a tease, you get to see one for now 😀

{December 31, 2013}   Endings And Beginnings

I hate New Years Eve.
Poor New Years Eve probably doesn’t deserve my hate, it’s not New Years Eve’s fault it’s the last day of the year but I wish it would stop being pushed in my face that we should all happily celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. It’s just too much pressure for this girl to handle.
Maybe I don’t want to stay up till midnight and drink champagne.
Maybe I would rather watch the Doctor Who marathon on BBCA. Or read. Or write. Or sleep.
That’s what gets me I think, the expectations of a brand spanking new year when really it’s just another day after day as life keeps moving.
The last few years have been less than kind to me for the most part; too much death and destruction in my wake has left me cynical and hopeless.
Little pockets of the happy have shown up here and there, but my shoulders are hurting from carrying around all this baggage.
I hope I can shrug it all off tonight when the ball drops and clean my slate so I can start again without the bad. Tabula rasa.
For anyone who cares, the Benefit the other night was a rousing success. It’s taken me this long to recover, 3 shots of Captain Morgan equals 3 days to revive myself. Which is why I don’t like to drink but I needed a few shots of false courage to get my ass onstage after a 2 year hiatus. I had so much fun onstage I forgot to be nervous. There were 19 bands playing that night so as soon as I can get my hands on some photos and video I will post some here, in other words, as soon as I figure out how to get the video from the camera into my laptop, I’ll post me singing with my band as promised. Or I’ll just steal someone else’s vids and pictures from facebook as they slowly appear.
But back to NYE, I know I have to put on that brave face and pretend I’m having fun so being the good little girl that I am (hey! I so am a good girl…sometimes…mostly…it depends on your definition of ‘good’) I shall go with the flow. Maybe if I pretend hard enough I can make it be true.
Resolutions. We make them then break them but I will give it the old Girl Scout try and resolve to write more, pick a WIP and stick to it till done instead of jumping back and forth between W’sIP. Easier said than done but I will do my best to make it happen. I also resolve to be selfish. Yes, selfish. Because I never put myself on my own list and seem to slip off everyone else’s list too, therefore I shall be selfish and think about my own damn self for a change {she said as she simultaneously baked a cake for someone’s birthday while cleaning up the mess that grew overnight as she slept}.
I also resolve to answer all the wonderful comments you leave me, I know I’ve been lax when it comes to that but as I think on it, I should change that resolution to figuring out a way to manage my time in a more productive way. And perhaps I can strengthen my spine when certain people yank my chain knowing I’ll drop everything and run at the snap of a finger. There are certain people, usually falling under the category of family, who know me well enough to manipulate my emotions and I fall for it every damn time.
So to sum things up, I guess it’s best to just say I’m really happy to see the ass-end of 2013 and wish for a better year in 2014.
Happy New Year my friends, you, above all else, have been the shining star for me this past year.
I wish you all the Best Year Ever, filled with Love and Joy and Peace and above all, The Happy.

{December 28, 2013}   I’m Singing Again

bbtrainI’m the girl

Well here it is, after two years of not playing, tonight my band Bullet Train will be playing at The Dogs Of War Benefit.
Stage fright? Nope.
Nervous? Kinda.
Excited? Definitely!
As I said in my previous post, all money raised is going to a family affected by cancer.
btrrainme singing

Wish me luck my friends, it’s been awhile since I’ve been onstage but I know the Spirit of the Season and my Guardian Angels will be right there with me.
I wish each and every one of you could be there with me tonight but Sayreville New Jersey is a long way from where most of you live so I shall carry you all in my heart and if you don’t mind, I’ll be getting strength from you as I sing my heart out in the name of love and charity.
btraindowwme singing at a previous Dogs Of War
Anyone interested in attending can see my previous post where all the details are because I can’t get the link to work

{December 27, 2013}   The Christmas Dogs Of War Benefit

Every year at Christmastime there is magical musical tradition in my hometown of Sayreville NJ, a Benefit called The Dogs Of War.
Unfortunately, most of us know someone with cancer. It’s an ugly painful horror for anyone to go through, whether it’s you or a family member, a friend or neighbor, cancer has it’s way and there is nothing we can do but offer support and be there for our loved ones.
One day, over 25 years ago, a young man lost his Mother to cancer. He lived with that loss, as we all do when we lose someone we love, but he turned his pain into something that grew and grew over the years, leading us to the point of this post: The Christmas Dogs Of War, a benefit where every single dollar is handed over that very night to a local family affected by cancer.
This year there is a young family, the husband has cancer, his wife is pregnant, and her Father also has cancer, who can use our help.
I can’t imagine the horror they are going through, I saw my Mom go through breast cancer, she had just reached the 5 year mark of remission the month before she died, and I did the only thing I could do for her by going with her to each and every one of her treatments yet still I felt helpless. My Mom had excellent health insurance but she was lucky for that, so many people are in need these days and don’t have the benefits she had.
Hence The Dogs Of War. In the words of Mike Grau, the young man that dreamed up this yearly benefit:
The Christmas Dogs of War Christmas Cancer Benefit has been around a long time and it raises money for a local family dealing with this terrible disease. ALL the money raised goes directly to the family in CASH it’s that simple. It’s an evening of dreamers and screamers and strange holiday music. Al Muzer will MC this year’s event as well as offer terrible things for people to give money to own. Scheduled to perform (but obviously not limited to); Schnitzel,Bongo Jones, The Trip Dogs , El Muchacho,Joe Canzano , The Marbles ,The Pretty Goats, The Dead Pony Cats,Keith Beck, The Molecular Blues Machine, Bullet Train, The Whale Ashtray, Marty and the Great Unwashed Music Band, Rachel…etc etc etc
It’s a great night and everyone will have fun until Schnitzel performs

And it is a great night, always. Good music, a million bands including {blatant self-promotion} my band Bullet Train, crazy auctions, 50/50’s etc. In one of those magical coincidences, the weekly newsletter promoting the bands each Saturday just showed up in my email. Written by Mike Grau, the Einstein of musicians and organizer/inventor of The Dogs Of War, please allow me to share his newsletter with you, and believe me, it’s well worth the read:

Good People of Metropolis;

“Every time a bells rings an angel goes to their neutral corner.”
Christmas has been turned into a conveyor belt. A line stretching out as far as the eye can see waits to board the belt two weeks before Thanksgiving. Angry wrinkled business men with bald heads and thick eye glasses operate the belt. Hapless, hopeless Americans, exhausted from their workweeks, hop up on the conveyor belt because the media told them to “go”. Happily confused and unaware of the financial pounding they are about to receive the belt drives them toward a monolithic mall owned by Disney, some cable companies, Adolph Hitler and a shell company owned by members of Congress. Along the route gigantic billboards remind the dimwitted masses that “There is no God”, “Jesus was an Ancient Alien” and “Do Not Say Christmas…. Say Holiday”. At the end of the belt stain covered families flop into the lobby of the Mega Mall. They are presented with amazing choices for their hard earned public assistance checks. They can buy plastic things that promise to make their sedentary lifestyles easier. They can purchase huge sweat suits for their fat bodies and double wide television chairs to place near mammoth snack trays filled with high calorie, zero nutrient goodness in the shapes of their favorite Hollywood heroes. They can be places in motorized chairs and rolled within inches of low cost jewelry which can be altered to fit their bloated unhealthy American saturated fat fingers. They can gaze in wonder at electronic devices that promise adventure and freedom and creativity but deliver only eye strain and further estrangement from their fellow man. It is “idiot world” and the conveyor belt keeps flopping stained clothed, unthinking, hypnotized, bloated, Americans into the Mega Mall. The meaning is lost or broken. This country and it’s people should pray one last prayer together. We should all come to together and pray for a great famine. A famine that leaves crops unharmed but eats through every television in our country. A famine that poisons the internet, murders smart phones and ends social media. A famine that shortens the workweek, bridges misunderstandings between family members and reminds us all that we need each other. A famine that reminds us of God , shines bright light on the manipulators and removes power from the wicked. A famine that reminds us that love is all that matters. A famine that brings us clarity of thought. A famine that mends broken hearts and brings about the use of the phrase “I’m sorry that I’ve hurt you.” A great famine that unifies Americans and erases the puppeteer hatred brought down on party lines.

I want that famine.

And speaking of the “unspeakable” This Saturday Night @ Buddies Tavern it’s The Christmas Dogs of War !!!
Over 1 million bands and people who think they are in bands will swarm down onto Buddies Tavern at 8 p.m., pay their 20 dollars and see what has never been seen before.
So come on down and give some money to a great cause. All money raised will be handed to a family in Sayreville who is dealing with cancer 24 hours after you hand it over…. And that’s a guarantee.
See you at the show
Mike Grau
And because I want to have the last word, I would like to extend an invitation to anyone who lives close enough to attend to come on down, see a bunch of great bands including me singing, and give to a family in need. We can’t beat cancer, but we can make a difference, however small, by raising some money for a young Family in need. Your heart will grow at least 3 times larger. Click on the link below for more information as to directions and time, etc. Go on, click!!!
dowThis is Schnitzel, do not be afraid.

{December 26, 2013}   Day After Christmas Blues

T’was the day after Christmas and all through the house was a huge mess left for me to clean up.
I’m cranky today.
Yeah, yeah, I know, I should be all kinds of happy and joy-filled and grateful for all the wonderful gifts I received blah blah blah.
It started off on a good note, the usual traditional scent of cinnamon rolls in the oven mixed with the smell of coffee brewing… I hate coffee, I’m a tea girl myself but I digress.
So there were lots of ooooh’s and ahhhh’s and I got many goodies that I will enjoy as soon as this stupid pounding headache goes away. The headache started yesterday some time around 1pm EST when the hubby picked up Dad and brought him over for Christmas dinner. While visions of happy filled my naïve mind I slowly deflated as it turned into Let’s Pick On Joanne Day aka Teasing Time.
You know that old saying about marrying your Father/Mother? Yeah, that.
If I was a man I’d say they were busting my balls. You know, all in the name of “fun”.
What makes men people think it’s a good thing to “tease” me other people relentlessly under the guise of “I’m just kidding, what is wrong with you?”?
Maybe I never noticed it as much when Mom was here. She could silence that kind of bullshit with one look. I have a little bit of that “Carey look” in me but yesterday it was MIA and I spent half the time fending off comments while the rest of the time I desperately missed my Mom.
I tried to get stay in a good place, dreading my first Christmas without Mom, and I did a pretty good job of it up till dinner time. That’s about the time I noticed I wasn’t even there. Oh, I was there physically but mentally, not so much. Robotic might be a better way to describe me yesterday.
So Dad decided he wanted to leave around 4pm, I grabbed my keys and bundled up and drove him home and he decided a good topic of conversation for the drive was telling me writing should not be my priority at all in any way shape or form. I’m wasting my time were the words he meant. Nothing I haven’t heard before, no one in my family takes me seriously when I say I’m writing; they snicker while, I might add, they have read nothing I’ve written. My Mom used to read my words and encouraged me, now that it’s me and 3 men in the family, without my Mom as backup, I’m pretty much on my own.
Yeah I know, it’s just a case of those Day After Christmas Blues and a pounding headache. And the lack of alone time which is as vital to me as breathing.
I dropped Dad off, walking him into the house to make sure he was fine then drove back to the place I’m supposed to call home.
It shouldn’t bother me that Dad didn’t give me a Christmas Gift, although he remembered to give gifts to his 6 grandchildren. And I don’t mean to sound bitter because I’m not, just a little bit of  hurt feelings which I’ll get over.
When I got back home I changed into my new Christmas pajama’s and crawled in bed, doing nothing more than stare at the television watching the Doctor Who marathon and Christmas Special even though I was unintentionally spoiled on Twitter by some British people who live in the future and saw it before me, giving away way too much information.
I’ve got a bad case of the sads right now, it’s taking every bit of strength in me to not crawl back into bed and sleep away my worries.
Instead I shall attempt to shrug off my sads and clean up the mess left by the drinkers last night.
I really miss my Mom.

{December 25, 2013}   Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to you from me with Love and Hugs for one and all!!!

{December 23, 2013}   An Actual Blog Type Post

So we all, for the most part, are going through all those last minute runarounds in preparation for Santa’s arrival.
We have had to cram 48 hours worth of stuff in a 24 hour day while figuring out a way to write and read, whatever we spend our time doing in The Land Of The Pressed Words and that, my lovelies, has been the hardest part of all, at least for me.
Through all the hectic of this past month there has been one constant in my life, every single day I have been waking up early, getting my perfect first cup of Tetley’s British Blend, sweet and milky, and turning on my laptop to enter the most Magical place in the world:
Ana’s Advent Calendar.
As you may know, losing my Mom eight months ago has had a devastating impact on my life and I realize I’m still in shock.
But for the last 23 days I have moved in and not only taken great strides toward healing, but I have been Blessed and honored to have met so many wonderful funny thought-provoking wise and caring people, without them*, I don’t think I would have made it through.
I guess I just want to give a shout out to Anastasia Vitsky who writes like an Unfairly Talented Naughty Angel (unfairly because I’m coveting her talent) and all the helper elves and commenters, many of whom are published authors so if you need some hot steamy books to fill your (adult)reading list (which can never be too long) go on, shoo, away with you, buy some books and lets support each other.
After all, it is Christmastime, the Spirit of Giving and Spreading Love and Cheer (and good book recommendations) and to never forget to Love. That is what it’s all about, right?

*My lovelies who take time out of your life to read my words, to take the time to comment even when I sometimes get so behind on comments it should be punishable. :P, I know you understand that you are naturally included on that list, each and every single one of you.
merry cr

PS: Photo of Ana’s Advent Calendar blatantly stolen from Ana {ducks to avoid flying wooden spoons}

{December 22, 2013}   Cherish ~ Daily Prompt


i wonder sometimes if you realize
how i cherish you
it’s not just the way you press all my buttons
or your power to make me lose control over my ability to speak
on certain occasions
it’s not the way you glow so bright it can hurt my eyes
or the way you make me believe i’m worthy,
a feeling i’m not quite comfortable with
as you point out to me,
there’s a twinkle in your eyes that mesmerizes me
and when i see you looking back i shiver,
you can loosen your tie one minute or unzip your jeans the next,
makes no matter to me what color your collar is,
not when you slipped that invisible collar, the one that counts, round my neck,
marked me as yours long before i knew it,
once upon a time you gave me the gift of my self,
you stole a piece of my soul and filled it with this,
cherishing you,
bits of us merged together always

{December 21, 2013}   Frozen Angel

snow an
Sarah spent a lot of her time in cemeteries. Just walking .
It was the only place she could go where she could hear herself think, the only place where nobody wanted anything from her. No one calling her name to make another drink or something to eat. No one asking her a million questions about what she was doing or who she was talking to or what she was looking at on the computer.
She’d gotten used to the mood swings, one minute hovering over her, the next ignoring her. Her every move monitored to such an extreme she might as well have a chip in her like their dog did.
It wasn’t often Sarah found herself with real alone time but when she did, she’d grab her sketchbook and pencils and walk down the street to the old abandoned cemetery deep in the woods.
It was soothing to walk amongst the dead.
She’d wander aimlessly, stopping here and there to read headstones and whisper prayers for people she’d never met, some headstones were barely readable, dating back to the 1700’s, time and weather had slowly chipped away at the engravings of the oldest graves.
Whenever Sarah came across an almost unreadable headstone she’d crouch down and run her fingers over what was left of their mark left on earth.
She’d imagine what sort of life they lived.
Did Mr. William Osborne beat his wife and kids or was he a Good Man, Tender Husband and Loving Father as his tombstone was inscribed?
And Elizabeth Anne McGuire, Devoted Daughter and Loving Sister. Did she go to her grave never knowing love? Did she die broken hearted over a man who never loved her or did she live life on her own terms, determined to be true to herself and happy to live a life of freedom, alone or not? Maybe Miss Elizabeth travelled the world and left a trail of broken hearts in her wake.
Now, on this cold winter night, Sarah wondered what her own headstone would say.
Maybe something like Here Lies A Coward Who Never Fought For Her Own Dreams?
Or perhaps Devoted Daughter and Lousy Wife Who Hated Being Controlled By Her Husband.
A cynical chuckle escaped in a bubble of frost at the though of the last inscription. Her husband would never let the world know his wife wasn’t happy. He seemed to think the eyes of the world were on him all the time.
It was windy that night as she walked, grateful she’d thrown her cape over her coat. Leaves crunched beneath her feet and there was that scent in the air that told you snow was imminent. The weathermen had been predicting another Storm Of The Century and Sarah pulled her hood over her head as the first flakes began to fall fast and hard.
Sarah hopped up on a gravestone, her heart heavy as she watched the snow fall around her. She’d initially come here to sketch but the weather ruled that out.
What if I just sat here, Sarah thought to herself. Just stopped, sat, and let the snow fall where it may until I’m covered in white.
A frozen snow angel at the edge of a grave keeping company with the dead.
She didn’t think anyone would notice she was gone.
snow angel

{December 19, 2013}   What We Don’t Say

it’s funny sometimes,
the way you pop into my mind
and i stare at my phone debating,
do i or don’t i?
so i don’t
and that’s when that little ping goes off,
the one that goes straight to the core of me
because i know the dance has begun,
if everything is in alignment
i know i’ll soon hear your voice
and for those minutes,
regardless of the longevity
everything is perfect
a line tossed my way letting me know
things aren’t always as they seem,
and anything is possible
when we believe the impossible,
we don’t always talk about certain things
the ones better left unsaid and yes you get the credit,
but we can say anything and oh, we do,
you may be multi-tasking
but i’m finding me,
because you opened my eyes,
it’s good to see again

et cetera