Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another music must-have!

I have been a fan of Annie Lennox for fifteen years now, yet nothing she has released in the last fifteen years managed to rekindle the same passion I felt for her debut album, DIVA. (One of my 5 vaorite songs of all time is from that album, "Cold") And yet, I respect her so much as an artist that I buy everything she puts out without listening to it first, and usually there are some songs that I do end up really liking.
Her newest album, Songs of Mass Destruction, came out earlier this month, and for the first time in fifteen years, I'm blown away and just can't stop listening to it. It is not a happy album, which usually would deter me from it, but there are such amazing soundscapes in it that I just get lost in its beauty. The standout tracks to me are the two most atmospheric songs that take me to another place for about 4 and a half minutes each. The first, "Colored Bedspread", is sexy yet not vulgar, mature yet not risque, exploration of the tmie spent in the bedroom. Its beat, initally reminiscent of her Eurythmics hit "Sweet Dreams" is actually much more primitive and sensual and the vocals change from understated rhythmic pulses to soaring surges of passion.
My other favorite is "Big Sky" which evokes the kind of thunderstorm that has always made me come alive, and compares it to a tumultuous relationship. The picture painted by this song may only exist in my head, but I would challenge anyone to listen to this song without being wrapped up in its big sweeps and beautiful vocals.
Some of the tracks, like "Ghosts In My Machine," "Love Is Blind," and "Womankind" are really fun upbeat songs (even if their lyrical content isn't always without despair); "Sing" is an anthem that features 22 other vocalists including Madonna, Melissa Etheridge, Celine Dion, Joss Stone, Dido, KT Tunstall, Anastacia, and more; "Lost" is haunting and gorgeous, and if you buy the album from Barnes and Noble online you can get two bonus tracks that are really worth it (an acoustic version of the first single "Dark Road" that is even more beautiful than the original, and a stomper that I really do enjoy called "Don't Take Me Down.")

here are some you-tube links to explore further:
Snippets of 5 songs from the album
My favorite song ever, COLD, performed live in 1992 and in 2007
DARK ROAD performed acoustically (on the Martha Stewart show!!)

Saturday, October 20, 2007


So it's come up at least once at some point in each of the last several days: Trust.
I keep finding myself engaged in conversation with others about what is seeming to be a rather lonely opinion, that people have my trust inherently until they do something to lose it. Whether it be a close friend, fellow manager, etc. I am confronted with the opposing view that trust is something to be earned and not given to just anyone. Perhaps its naive of me, but that seems like a very lonely view of the world. I believe that the only way to truly connect to another human being is through developing some measure of trust between the two of you. The vulnerability that comes along with the potential of betrayal is what makes trust such a beautiful, powerful thing.
Have I been hurt before through lies or betrayal? Sure. Will I again be hurt in my lifetime by adopting this outlook? Most likely. But have I developed deep and lasting relationships as well with people who I cherish? Absolutely. And I wouldn't trade that for a self-imposed barrier around my heart that could possibly save me from an occasional disappointment or heartache.

It's funny ... I set out writing this post questioning myself and this belief and wondering if I was wrong. But in just writing these past few sentences, I have found a reaffirmed commitment to this theory and believe more than ever that it will serve me right in the future. And I will continue to strive to always be that person who my friends and family and colleagues can trust implicitly without exception. Perhaps if we all set about to do the same, this wouldn't even be an issue...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Blue Alert

Anyone who knows me knows how much music means to me in my life. So I want to share an album that has dug down deep and carved a special place in my heart. Anjani Thomas' "Blue Alert" is a beautiful, intimate piece of art that I have listened to before bed almost every night for the last two months. Every song is bare and lovely and says something I wish I could have said. Its produced by Leonard Cohen and his sensibility is all over each track.
I love that I've been able to share the album with others and that they've appreciated its specialness. I put a song called "The Mist" on a mix CD for my friend Gary and he was hooked. And sometimes when I come home late and crawl into bed, Jamie already has the CD on and we sing along softly as we drift off to sleep. My favorite track is "Never Got To Love You" followed closely by "Blue Alert" and "Innermost Door."
In any case, if you love good music, take a chance and follow my recommendation - I guarantee it's worth the couple of dollars!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Word from the wise

LIZA MINNELLI has offered her support to BRITNEY SPEARS, insisting the troubled star is suffering a "disease". The diva has battled drug addictions in the past, so can sympathise with Spears. Minnelli says, "I just feel horrible for (Britney Spears). You know, she's got a disease. And when you have a disease, you cannot help it. So it's not your fault, but you're responsible for it. I just feel so bad for her because I don't think anybody really understands what's going on." But the Cabaret star is baffled by the publicity Spears' plight has earned her. She tells Florida newspaper the St Petersburg Times, "The way the press is now, she's getting so much attention. Somebody said to me the other day, 'God, you have to go to jail to get a good review.' It's an interesting period. "They used to have clauses and contracts where you can't get bad publicity or you'd get fired. But now bad publicity is good publicity. I just keep working and don't think about it much."

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Isn't it awful how sometimes people can share something with us that brings them such great joy and we're not able to share their joy because somehow it brings up something in our own lives that causes us sadness. After my whole last post, I am disappointed in myself that just such a sharing actually made me break down in tears at work today. I strive constantly to be the person who can empathize and support my friends through thick and thin. But today I sunk to the lowest common denominator of feeling sorry for myself:
"Why not me?"
Such should be a weak and powerless thought; so why did its strength overpower me today?
Sigh ...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Suffering Is Not Relative

I was having a discussion with my friend Paul the other day about personal pain and how often people will put themselves out there as a compassionate ear to share your struggles with, only to try to trump you with a story of their own that a) doesn't make you feel any better about your situation and b)diminishes what you are going through in that moment. Haven't we all heard, from a concerned party the five famous words: "If you think that's bad ... "?

To me, when I choose to confide in someone, what I want from them is to listen and try to understand what's going on with me. I am not looking for comparisons, because they take away from the inherently personal nature of my experience. And the worst is when the receptor decides to present a situation that they think is similar or somehow more traumatic. That makes me feel so unheard and misunderstood because no one can know how any of us process the things we experience. And for them to determine how they think you should feel or react is completely biased and unfair. Suffering is not a relative thing between humans. We all feel differently and are affected by stimuli in different ways.

In keeping with the theme of this blog, none of us know what Britney is going through. Yet to compare our struggles with hers or hers to other celebrities' is a moot point. At the end of the day, the thing in this world that causes me the deepest suffering will not be the same thing that causes her the deepest suffering. However, if indeed we are suffering in the extreme, there is no comparison between the two. Neither one of us is worse off than the other because we would both be at our extreme.

Next time someone comes to you with a problem that really upsets them, whether it be that a check bounced and they're without cash for three days, or that a boyfriend they bought a $900 plane ticket to go visit dumped them days before the trip, or that their mother died (all experiences that people in my life are currently facing) it doesn't matter if you can relate to their drama or if it seems petty or overwhelming or whatever. Your friends are coming to you because they need empathy. They need a caring friend. They do not need to have their story topped or to be reassured that their drama is not that bad. Just listen to them. Be there for them. Provide them they help or advise they are seeking (if applicable). But always remember that this is their moment and their story, not yours. Because when it is time for yours, you will need the same thing from them.

PS - so as not to be a negative nelly, I should point out that I also believe this for positive experiences. When someone experiences a moment of pure bliss, celebrate that with them. Even if it doesn't seem all that exciting to you, we all want to share the things that make us feel something with those we care about. Share their bliss. Try to find a context for yourself that brings happiness too, but remember that in that moment it is ultimately about them.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Poor Britney

So I heard the news today that Britney Spears lost custody of her children today to Kevin Federline. Remember when he was the punchline to jokes of celebrity uncool? Now he's a more fit parent than Britney? I was so excited for her to make her big comeback on the VMAs and yet that ended up being one more disaster in a string of them that continues seemingly without end. I found myself wondering today when enough will be enough for her, and what that will look like. It wouldn't surprise me if she wound up dead from her own hand; I know I would crack if I were faced with half of her struggles in my life. And if she end up dead will there be sympathy? Will everyone feign shock and surprise and disappointment? Or will we accept it as the inevitable.
In any case, I'm not of the Britney-fanatic ilk like say that other blonde with the hysterical You Tube video. I just have had her on my mind recently, and like the title of my blog says, I'm reminded that no matter what I'm going through, at least I'm better off than Britney. (Although I'm still planning on dressing in her "Gimme More" outfit for Halloween!)