Random Music Survey!

Remember I said that I’d talk about music sometimes? Well, today is that day! I found a music survey that I liked so I decided to complete (most of) it with my own answers. I don’t use quotation marks because this is not an English term paper. Fun stuff…

1. What are you listening to right now?

Love Don’t Live Here Anymore by Rose Royce — I have my old iPod Touch on shuffle and that came on. This is one of the songs in my vocal range, so I enjoy singing along and being dramatic (this song is dramatic as hell). You know how that is (I think?). Madonna is a fan of the song also, she covered it for two of her albums (Like a Virgin and Something to Remember). I the instrumentation, back when whole orchestras backed a group. It sounds like percussion done by Hit Stix though…

2. What song(s) make(s) you sad?

That changes from day to day. Seriously. When I broke up with a musician I was upset because he ruined all of my favorite songs (he used to sing to me – blech). The whole U2 catalog would upset me. I’m over that. Okay – Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler. That song was written to make you sad though. I’m trying to think of something odd that makes me sad…hmm…okay…Like a Stone by Audioslave. I shouldn’t have to explain why. Oh, and Bruises by Chairlift. There used to be this viral video of a mother squirrel and a baby squirrel trying to climb up rocks and this song was the background. Every time the song comes on I get a little teary. It’s not sadness though (the squirrels were fine), it’s just emotional.

3. What is the most annoying song in the world?

Okay…I love this song, but, especially being the month that it is, September by Earth, Wind and Fire. Haha! Only because my family and I say “Bah-Dee-Ya” to each other, text it to each other, send made up memes to each other and I end up singing it for the rest of the day. It’s a total earworm.

4. Your all time favorite band?

It’s actually a toss-up between U2 and The Cure. U2 used to edge them out (no pun intended – ha!), but Lovesong was always my favorite song. Number one favorite song, no ties for first place there for 30 years now. Now I find myself listening to The Cure more than U2.

5. Best female voice?

Donna Summer. Hands down. She sings with such an ease – there is no straining or caterwauling. She sounds like she’s just effortlessly having a sing-songy conversation. That’s what I like in a female voice. That’s why Adele and Mariah Carey’s voices bother me so (Mariah, a little less, but I can’t stand Adele’s voice). I love Diana Ross also. I mean, she can talk through a song with her voice and it’s incredible. Tori Amos, love her voice. She’s another good-range-sing-along for me. I say that as Pretty Good Year plays on my iPod. Karen Carpenter. She’s can freaking play the drums while singing with that smooth voice. Tracey Thorn from Everything But the Girl has a crazy smoothness that I love. Bjork has a unique voice that I really love.

6. Best male voice?

Steve Perry from Journey. Seriously. I was a fan before the whole “Don’t Stop Believin'” craze. What’s funny is – I like my male singers with some straining and scratch.  Eddie Vedder’s voice I like. Chris Cornell – of course! Okay, here’s a smooth male singer – Freddie Mercury. I like Marvin Gaye’s smoothness too, especially in that song (one of my all time favorites).

7. Music type you find yourself listening to most?

Anything rock and the rock sub-genres. Although, I find myself listening to older R&B a lot more now. I think it’s because I have that old lady nostalgia kicking in. I mean, I listen to Vanessa Williams Dreamin’, Lisa Fischer How Can I Ease the Pain and Ralph Tresvant Sensitivity like “They don’t make songs like this no more! That is CLASSIC! They didn’t have to take off their clothes (sorry, Vanessa)! You could understand what they were saying!” The whole old lady schpeal. By the way, Selena did a pretty good Sensitivity.

8. What do you listen to, to hype you up?

Dance music! Like old house music, 90s dance stuff. Corona Rhythm of the Night, anything by Expose, Show Me Love by Robin S. I’m like one of the Night at the Roxbury guys that way. Oh yeah! Plus What’s My Name by DMX. I feel crazy after that. Or even, Party Up and One More Road to Cross. The entire …And Then There Was X album, I guess. When I was feeling stifled at work a while ago (yeah, that’s a good way to put it), I actually had to tell myself not to listen to Party Up during my commute. Haha!

9. What do you listen to when you want to calm down?

70’s Soft Rock – Steely Dan, Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon, Elton John (“…Mars ain’t the kinda place to raise you kids, in fact it’s cold as hell…” Love that entire verse!), Fleetwood Mac, etc. BUT – my main “Calm Down, Erika” song is Hey Jude. Whenever something is stressing me out I either listen to it, if I have a device around, but most of the time I sing it to myself. The entire thing, “na-na na na” and all. I even call it my “Hey Jude Meditation”! the lyrics even have an inspiring and calming effect “…it’s just you, hey Jude you’ll do, the movement you need is your shoulder…”

10. Last gig/concert you went to?

Rachel Barton Pine at the Bardavon Opera house last year. More recently, the Susan Tobocman Jazz Quartet at The Flatiron Room in June (I was on a swanky date).

11. Band you find yourself listening to the most right now?

My car still has a CD player – a six disc changer at that – so I pretty much keep the same cds in my car. U2 Greatest Hits, The Police – Every Breath You Take: The Singles, The Cure – Mixed Up and The Cure – Galore. The other two cds I rotate with old r&b compilation cds or dance music compilations. I listen to old stuff from high school a lot more now.

12. Most hated band?

I don’t really hate a band. I usually just hate some song by a band, and even then I’ll end up knowing all of the lyrics.

13. Song that makes you think?

For the Love of Money by the O’Jays. It’s pretty clear what the song is about, I’m just always puzzled that it has been used positively in so many commercials over the years, just because of the catchy “Money Money Money…” part. Didn’t they ever see New Jack City? I even heard someone play the bass line in a church as the collection plate was being passed. He was being funny, but…

OH! And all of the street harassment songs. Yeah, there are so many songs that make street harassment seems like a cute, funny thing. It’s not. Examples: I Got a Man by Positive K, Nu-Nu by Liddel Townsell and, I hate to say it, but That Lady by The Isley Brothers. That Lady is my jam though. I will car dance embarrassingly to that whenever it comes on.

14. Band that you think the world should love as much as you do?

The Spinners. Okay. I know that they are well loved in the black community, but they had to have an Unsung episode. Come on now.

15. Coolest music video?

Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel was so cool to me back in the late 80s. It used to scare my cousin too, so that made it even better (heh heh – evil laugh).

Now, I talk about how much I dislike this person, but 7/11 by Beyonce. My cousin (same cousin) and I have the moves down and she calls it “The Beyonce Workout”! I like it, because it shows her playful side (eww, that sounded fan-like, but I’m not at all). I like Solange a lot though, and I love the video for Losing You. It makes me want to be my awkward self in South Africa. I want that brick suit.

Janet Jackson’s Pleasure Principle! She’s just so cool in this video. I wanted to be in a warehouse, all alone, dancing aggressively. I remember when I was about 7 or 8 and my mom was straightening my hair with the hot comb. We were sitting by the hot stove and I said to her “I want my hair as straight as Janet Jackson’s in the Pleasure Principle video!” She said, “As straight as her WIG!” I was taken aback. It was then that I knew my mom was a hater. Ha!

16. Music video with the most babe watch?

Another Janet one. Even though this guy is a Republican (that matters), Antonio Sabato Jr. was so cute in this video! I don’t know. Give It To You by Jordan “Leather Wearin’ in the Summertime” Knight! Ha! I haven’t watched videos in a while. Plus, this is a silly question.

17. What do you play/would you play in the bedroom to spice things up?

I really don’t know. I get hyped up in a different way from music – I just want to listen to more of it and sing along and dance not, you know. I remember when I was about 14, before I was acquainted with “bedroom spice”, my best friend and I thought that Enigma’s MCMXC a.D. was the perfect album to lose your virginity to. I guess we’d seen Sliver too many times. Yeah. No. I still laugh a little to myself when Sadeness Part 1 comes on my iPod!

18. Can you play a musical instrument?

My voice, I guess. My brother and I actually have “perfect pitch”. It’s funny. I was the only one who could sing around him, without him getting mad, when he was younger.

19. Ever been in a mosh pit?

Nope, never.

20. Are you in a band?

Nope.

21. Last song that you heard on the radio/CD…etc…?

Well, I am listening to Enigma now for a laugh! Callas Went Away

22. What do you think of Classical music?

I love it! I have actually attended more classical music concerts than I have of any other genre.

23. What do you think of Country music?

It’s okay. I like Patsy Cline a lot. That smooth voice of course. Crazy is an amazing karaoke song, and I like Dolly Parton, of course. Fancy by Reba McEntire is a great song. At one point Georgia by Hanson was the number one most played song on my famous iPod (so proud). I went to the Grand Ole Opry last year, and I saw Exile, Charles Esten and Carrie Underwood. It was a great experience, but I wasn’t like “F–k yeah! Country! Woo!” Maybe I am an undercover country fan, I don’t know. I don’t hate it.

OH! Elvira was my favorite song when I was 3 or 4 years old! I think I liked the guy with the deep voice. Okay, I LOVE THIS! I remember when music wasn’t as segregated as it is now. Dolly Parton was on regular radio and Hee Haw was awesome…Those were the days!

24. Do you listen to music in foreign languages?

Yes! I love world music. I love this medley from Brazil. It is in heavy rotation on the epic iPod. I like flamenco as well (I once dated a guy who played the flamenco guitar – that’s how I was exposed). I love this – three generations of flamenco singers! Their voices are so similar, love it.

25. Funny concert moment?

Ben Folds at Bohagers in Baltimore, 2001. The entire show was just hilarious! It was like half stand-up, half music and it was awesome. He pulled out his keytar and starting making up songs. Great show!

26. What do/did your parents listen to?

My dad used to buy every top 40 album there was back in the 80s. He wasn’t a real music fan. My mom though, she listened to Aerosmith, Hall and Oates, America, Rick James, Charlie Rich – a real mix. I know all of the words on Hall and Oates Rock ‘n Soul Part 1. I still love Private Eyes. My little brother used to sing the lyrics to Kiss on My List as “Because your HIPPOPOTAMUS, is the best thing in life…” I still sing those lyrics sometimes. America is one of my favorite bands too. I have been influenced!

27. Songs that give you the chills

I have an actual eargasm when I hear Someday We’ll Be Together by The Supremes. Lots of songs do it to me sometimes, but that ALWAYS makes the hair on my arms stand up. It’s such a well done masterpiece, from beginning to end. I Heard it Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye, does it a lot, too. OH! And I Want You Back by The Jackson 5! Go Motown! When Linda Ronstadt did Ooh Baby Baby, that’s another one that gives me chills. I’m sure there’s more. There is! Electric Feel by MGMT,  Midnight City by M83.

28. Do you listen to rap?

Yes. Nothing super new though, and with rap there is always something new so I’m way behind. The latest “album” I bought was Drake’s More Life and I listened to Passionfruit over and over again like a teenager. I like Drake (of course, I’m a girl). It’s cute to see and listen to his sensitivity from afar, as opposed to actually dealing with someone like him in real life. He’s such a dweeb (that’s a compliment)! I mean, he wrote an entire song that is basically “I had sex with Jennifer Lopez”! Ha! Dork! I agree with Chris D’elia’s assessment of Drake though.

I do like Kanye, despite his life. 808s & Heartbreak is like a dark comedy, brilliant. I know he was in a lot of pain at the time, but this album makes me laugh, like a wtf laugh. Imagine if your psycho ex had access to a recording studio, it would sound a little like 808s & Heartbreak. When I hear Paranoid, I’m like “I think my ex said this projected crap to me – word for word!”. It’s genius.

So, there were more questions but I cut them out. I’m sure I’ll do another music survey again…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eclipse Mode…

The eclipse has passed, but I still managed to complete a couple of “rituals” that are supported by the energy of the eclipse. The first thing that I did was break out my crystals

Crystals
I took them outside right before the eclipse, notice the shadows…

…Hematite and petrified wood to be exact. Both of these crystals bring forth a calming energy. I really need that right now. I am doing a lot right now and I need to chill out about it. It’ll be wonderful.

Hematite is great for grounding and stability and the petrified wood is great for easing worries and bringing about good fortune in business ventures (yay!). OKAY – so, about the crystals. Yes, I believe that if I believe that they are bringing the energy that they are supposed to bring then they will bring that energy. The Law of Attraction. Manifesting. I believe in all of that. ANYWAY. That brings me to meditation

Breathe Deep.PNG

I did manage to have a short meditation during the eclipse. It felt amazing! I was able to concentrate in a way that I haven’t been able to in a long time. I used a great mantra as well…

True Love
My mantra…

About love…

I WAS the type of person who was too busy for love. I WAS more concerned with myself and my goals (…the next one, and the next one, and the next one…), than I was with getting deeply involved with someone. I have been very self-involved for the past TEN YEARS! In 2007, I ended a not-so-good relationship (no deets here, sorry). After that, I threw myself into my studies, work and the endless pursuit of knowledge. So far I have received four degrees (AS, BS, MA, MPS…) and countless certifications (I’m an Offender Workforce Development Specialist and I’m certified to teach preschool through third grade in NJ – I’ve done work in prisons and preschools the whole spectrum!).

Of course, I have dated in these 10 years. I’ve had a couple of several monthers here and there, but nothing long-long-term. I realized that I usually approach dates like job interviews (occupational hazard). Not that I am cold and questioning, not at all, I’m a warm and excited person naturally, but I do have that mental checklist. We can have a great time, but I know by the end of the date if you are going to “get the job”. A lot of guys haven’t! When I realize they aren’t getting the job, that’s when I turn cold.

I thought, perhaps, I should be a little less judgey-wudgey (my mom doesn’t call me “Frasier Crane” for nothing). Nah. Having standards is necessary in today’s world. I think I need to be…MYSELF! My self is fine, always has been. I just need to be more open to possibilities…

Speaking of which, Sage Smudging (nice segue)!

Sage

Here is a great article on how to smudge and what materials you need! I didn’t smudge today. I am actually saving it for this Saturday at 7:32 am, my Venus Return. That’s so close to being a literal “total eclipse of the heart”. Speaking of which (better segue)…

Saturday Morning ~ Zucchini Pancakes

As you might have guessed, I’m a big fan of the Food Network and the Cooking Channel. I haven’t watched it much recently, mainly because some of the personalities I enjoyed have either left, or are doing projects I’m not fond of now. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ZUCCHINI PANCAKES? Answer: Everything…

I happened to fall asleep with the tv on the Food Network (I am a HUGE Chopped fan, and I’ll watch that no matter what!) and when I turned it on in the morning “Brunch at Bobby’s” was on. Usually, I’ll turn the channel if Bobby Flay is on. Not because I don’t like him, I do, but because he’s usually grilling (I don’t do that) or on one of his competition shows (not a fan of those). This time though, I was intrigued. He was making something interesting, something with zucchini, uh, pancakes with zucchini? Now, I’ve seen and heard of zucchini pancakes before. But I had usually seen them done latke style, savory. But that morning, Bobby made them sweet and delicious looking. The way he described them too, “…they taste like banana bread, well zucchini bread”, that got me. I usually don’t bake (I hate being precise in the kitchen), but around the holidays I do bake bread from scratch and my two specialties are Date-No-Nut Bread and Zucchini Bread. So, duh, of course anything you can make into a bread you can make into a pancake! I had to try these pancakes out, especially if they taste like my bread (he-he)…

Since I’m not a chef and I am trying to keep this low(-ish) carb and high protein – I took many, many liberties with this and used many, many shortcuts. I didn’t even make the special syrup  he made his with (although I should have, but I just used my last apricot yesterday). Here’s what I used:

Whole Ingredients

That’s pretty much it. Here it is in the measuring bowl:

Dry Ingredients
1/3 Cup Kodiak Cakes Mix, 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder, a few shakes of cinnamon and a 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest

I used the smallest zucchini I could find and I added a scoop of protein powder, a few shakes of cinnamon (the mix already had cinnamon and it smelled very cinnamony) and a little orange zest (the part I listened to Bobby Flay about). I added some yogurt for even more protein, and used almond milk as the mixing liquid:

Wet Ingredients
I used about a tablespoon of the yogurt and enough milk to make a batter. You’ll know that batter look when you see it!

And, that’s it! Mix, griddle and serve!

Zucchini Pancakes
Pretty plate…

Pretty easy! I served it with orange slices because “Waste Not, Want Not”. C’mon now, did you think I’d use an entire orange just for a 1/4 teaspoon of zest? Eat that thing up! And that, I did…

Almost Done
See the zucchini?

Yum! Tastes like Christmas…

Lazy Friday (?)

More like lazy days in general…

I’m supposed to be happy today. It’s Friday! I just haven’t been up for much lately. I have been trying to figure out why and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

1) I am working from home more…A few months ago I got the option to go back to consultant status and work from home whenever I wanted. Boy, have I taken advantage of that! I only have to go in the office for the occasional meeting. While it’s pretty great, it’s kinda turned me into a shut-in. That’s because even though I’m home, I’m still on the clock. The emails, phone conferences and reports have not stopped just because I am not in the office. I still have to respond and actively participate because if I don’t, then am I really working? Hmm…I don’t want to have to answer that question.

So, I’m still at home, near a computer from 9-5. Why would I venture far?

Lighthouse
Random pic from my travels: Do you see the face in this building? Saugerties Lighthouse – Saugerties, NY

2) I have changed my lifestyle by way of food consumption…That’s a clever way to say I have been on a weight loss journey. Dieting, okay!

I was very happy with the way that I looked up until late August/early September of last year. It was then that I noticed I had put on about 15, 16 pounds. Did I do anything to take care of it at that point? Nope. In fact, I went on to gain 20 more pounds by the end of the year! So when January rolled around, it was clear that I had to make some kind of weight loss related resolution.

How did I gain so much weight? Well, last year, I went on a lot of trips. Trips that included me eating at a lot of restaurants. Going to a lot of wine tastings. Ordering a lot of cocktails (never underestimate how many calories alcoholic beverages add!). I took a lot of lunches out of the office. I picked up snacks at 7-11 and Quick Chek a lot. At one point I thought my veins pumped Burger King Chicken Nuggets, Trader Joe’s Macarons and whatever was in the latest Taco Bell Big Box. It was BAD.

So, this year I decided to take control and get back on track. It was actually kinda decided for me, now that I think about it. The main issue that I had was that I spent so much time in the office, so much time commuting, so little time eating real meals. WELL! Now I don’t have that excuse! After the initial sugar and fat detox (seriously, it takes about a month to get off of those “drugs”), it was very easy for me to get back into living a healthy lifestyle because I really enjoy cooking and I like using clean, nutritious, and sometimes odd, ingredients.

I’ve just been having such fun making meals for myself. No need to stop at a fast food place for dinner, I am already home, whippin’ up a huge, healthy taco salad (taco salads are my life). I go to the gym, that’s going “somewhere”, right?

Oh, and I’ve already lost the weight I put on (yay)! I just want to be a little more “tight”, “tighten”…

Teal Me
Tealin’ Myself: Yup, this is what I do when I’m bored.

3) I haven’t seen anything that has struck my fancy…SERIOUSLY. I belong on every event and ticket related mailing list, I have several event/ticket apps and I keep up with events on Facebook. Nothing has been interesting enough for me to go. I had plans to visit somewhere in March, I had my Amtrak ticket and everything. But, the day before, there was a major snowstorm! Okay, so I rescheduled my ticket. Then I rescheduled it again. And again. And again. I have literally (not figuratively) rescheduled my trip over 10 times.

Here is part of the actual email:

Amtrak Receipt.jpg
Yup, I’m dweeby enough to do this. I am rescheduling again soon!

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll go in September…

I’m hoping things pick up in the fall! I’m sure they will, there are a couple of events I am looking at and want to attend. For now, I’m just being dweeby…

 

Fresh Fruit Friday!

Okay – here’s where I get a little dweeby. I am admiring my past photos of fruit salad, from my Instagram, and sharing them here. Fruit is just so photogenic. Fruit and sushi are very photogenic, actually (random thoughts). So, here is my latest salad…

Fruit Salad 1
Usually with the kombucha…

I made this one on Independence Day…

Fruit Salad 2

Patriotic…

I must’ve been really thirsty when I made this one…

Fruit Salad 3
So refreshing…

So, I guess I was low on fruit here…

Fruit Salad 4
Not the best combination – I really felt like the pineapple was eating me back…

I needed some healthy fats to round out my salad here:

Fruit Salad 5
It helps to eat fruit salad with chopsticks…

I must’ve had a nighttime fruit craving…

 

Fruit Salad 6
So dark~bad lighting

And finally, this beauty below. It was so pretty, I had to take it outside to eat it (made for a nice photo)…

 

Fruit Salad 7
I will always try to live up to this one…

I’ll make sure to post regular fruit salad updates…