Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Year in Music...2007

Every year I read a lot of commentary on how the prior twelve months haven’t produced any music of lasting value, and every year I disagree. The same goes for 2007. If you're "too cool" to listen to new music, that's fine. But if not, try indulging in some of the material posted below. You might be glad that you did.

Top Albums of 2007 (just my opinion and in no particular order)

Spoon- GA GA GA GA GA
Stars of the Lid – AND THEIR REFINEMENT OF THE DECLINE
Caribou – ANDORRA
Amy Winehouse – BACK TO BLACK
The National – BOXER
Brandi Carlile- THE STORY
Marc Broussard, SOS
Papercuts – CAN’T GO BACK
Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova – ONCE (MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE
Arcade Fire- NEON BIBLE
Of Montreal – HISSING FAUNA, ARE YOU THE DESTROYER?
Feist- THE REMINDER
Sinead O'Connor- THEOLOGY

Other Albums worth mentioning...Runner Ups you might say!!:

Radiohead – IN RAINBOWS
The Go! Team – PROOF OF YOUTH
Wilco – SKY BLUE SKY
Tori Amos- ADP
Rufus Wainwright – RELEASE THE STARS
The Ladybug Transistor – CAN’T WAIT ANOTHER DAY
Ghostface Killah – BIG DOE REHAB
Wu-Tang Clan – 8 DIAGRAMS
LCD Soundsystem – SOUND OF SILVER

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tori Amos


Did you all think I had stopped listening to music? I know it has been awhile since I posted anything of substance. I am sure you all are busy making Vegan Pumpkin Pie awaiting my next post. Well here it is.

I got to see Tori Amos. Wow. (the last time I saw her was the mid 90s, so its been a few years) Her US tour is over. Sorry. However you can go to her website and download a DVD....well worth it. Her latest album, American Doll Posse is fun and rich at the same time. What made this show extra special is I got to catch up with an old friend and spend time with her and her husband. Thanks Danny and Azurae for the tickets, tex mex, margaritas...good conversation. You two are Fun with a capitol F!!!

So back to the show. ADP tour is my kind of show. Very theatrical, costumes, wigs....Tori has created 4 alter egos, Santa, Clyde, Isabel and Pip. She does the first half of her show as one of these alter egos...so no two shows are the same. Then leaves, does a costume/wig change and does the back end of the show as Tori. I got to see Isabel....yup....I got to see the political figure. She did songs such as Yo George, Tombigbee (LOVE THIS SONG!!, & Scarlet's Walk. (these songs were MY highlights from the Isabel set)

She leaves and the band rocks out to Professional Widow. What is great is this is the first time you actually hear them at a level that is perfect. These three guys are amazing together (and that is not even doing them justice)...Jon Evans, Dreamy Dan Phelps and Matt Chamberlain. (I have been a Matt fan for some time now, most recently he played on Brandi Carlile's album, The Story.) I wish the musical interlude could have lasted much longer.

Tori returns (in a silver sequin jumper that I would kill to have) and once again, commands your attention with new and old tunes. The songs I won't forget....Sweet Sangria, Cornflake Girl, Butterfly (just her and the piano), Concertina and for an Encore....she played Josephine. Josephine is probably my favorite song she does so I felt lucky to see it live.

If you are not a Tori fan, have never tried to be one.....give American Doll Posse a chance. (and let me know what you think)

"from in the shadow she calls. And in the shadow she crawls, clutching her faded photograph my image under her thumb. Yes with a message for my heart. She's been everybody else's girl maybe one day she'll be her own."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I've finally found a pumpkin pie recipes without eggs and no dairy! (I am trying to at leaset get back in the swing of no dairy and very little meat) From last week's Denver Post comes this recipe which originally appeared in Vegetarian Times magazine:

The filling for this vegan recipe needs to set overnight in the refrigerator, so make it the day before you serve it. Also, if you are going to use fresh pumpkin for the pie, do not use the jack-o'-lantern type; the flesh of these large pumpkins is too watery and stringy. Instead, look for small pumpkins, sometimes called pie pumpkins or other varieties of winter squash. To bake, cut pumpkins in half and remove seeds. Set, cut side down, in a lightly oiled baking pan. Bake at 400 for 30 to 40 minutes. Scoop out the cooked flesh and puree. Serves 8.

Ingredients

Crust

1/2 cup unbleached flour
7 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar or granulated sugar cane syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons soymilk plus 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 to 4 tablespoons water

Filling

2 cups canned pumpkin or pureed home-cooked fresh pumpkin (see intro)
1 cup low-fat soymilk or rice milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar cane syrup or 1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon dark molasses or to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions

In medium bowl, combine both flours, salt, sugar and baking powder. In small bowl, mix oil and soymilk mixture. Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and mix with a fork until it holds together in a ball. If it is too dry, add some water, a little at a time, until dough is moist enough to roll. (If time allows, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.)

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin forming an 11-inch circle. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough. Flute or crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. (you can do this or you can just go to Whole Foods and buy a non-dairy crust....that's what i did!!!)

Preheat oven to 425.

In large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients until smooth and blended. Pour into prepared crust and smooth top. Bake 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350. Bake until filling is set, about 50 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool, then refrigerate overnight.

** UPDATE ** The pie turned out very well - firm and tasty. It wasn't as sweet as other pies, but that's easily adjusted by adding more honey and/or molasses

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanks for Nothing

It's that time a year. Thanksgiving. Where we take a look into our lives and you may ask, "what am I thankful for?" I am sure by the title of this post you just might think this particular blog is going nowhere good. Well, indulge me for just a few paragraphs, I have had a lot of time to think about "thankfulness" in the last week.

It was one week ago, last Sunday that I was cycling with a group of 10 in Austin and I was part of a pretty nasty bike accident. Nasty in that I probably took the worst spill out of 4 of us that got thrown off our bikes. After CT scans, X-rays, Dr. visits, Physical Therapist, more x-rays, sleepless nights, not being able to get comfortable I came to a very Grinch like place where I was saying, "Thanks for Nothing" In other words, Negative Nay-Nay had emerged and it was not pretty. Even though Dr's said to stay positive, I was tired of prednisone, Motrin, drink water, lay flat for four days, no doing ANYTHING. As most of you can probably tell at this point....not fun for Colleen. Still don't know what the complete outcome will be....the main diagnosis being is my back is really hurting and I have some numbness along the right side of my body....I can't get an MRI done for another week to see what kind of nerve damage there might be. So that is the update that is my bike accident.

By now you are probably saying...GET TO THE POINT WILSON!!!! So, yes, thankfulness.

(insert long dramatic pause)

I need to be honest, I started to blame everything around me for my pain.... Not a good place to be. And in all of this, I realized....
"Colleen, you are selfish, not thankful."

So now I will share my thoughts that are thankfulness.

Why do we wait until this ONE day a year, the 3rd Thursday of November to BE THANKFUL??

Yes, you could give me the whole pilgrim/indians/picnic answer but I mean why such a build for this one day??

What if....what if we chose to be thankful the other 364 days of the year that Thanksgiving was truly a celebration of that?

What if giving thanks meant transformation not just participation?

Are you following me? Are you seeing it? We can change just by giving thanks!!! We can be transformed people because we give thanks for everyday, normal things and people. Try it. Just one day. (and this Thursday doesn't count) What if you called a family member in April and told them why you are thankful? What if you did this with a friend? Wouldn't their lives be changed? See it works both ways.

I believe that an internal spirit of thankfulness equals change....and can cause healing.

Let's remember what happened to the Grinch at the end of the story..."And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day."

Who doesn't want that? What is stopping you from being thankful and are you willing to change that?

Cause I am.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

Americans who support our troops are called the 'silent majority' I hate war just as much as the next person. However, I have a Grandfather that fought with Patton's army in WWII and I have a father who did two tours of Vietnam and is still a Marine that works hard to make sure we are free. It is Veterans Day and I just want to show solidarity and support. I have a cousin that is in the Airforce and it seems like whenever i ask, "What can we do?" (He is in Iraq) he always replies with, "We need your support and prayers."

Hmmm...pretty simple. I come not from a place of being Democratic or Repulican, Liberal or Conservative. I ask that today, you try to put those lines aside and Thank A Veteran.

Yes, I want there to be no war. I still believe in hope for our country and the world.

Let's remember that today we live in the land of the free, only because of the brave.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Tortoise and the Hare


Yes folks, its that time to bring up my favorite Fable....the one where the slow man ends up taking the Victory. This is going to happen with my swim, I just know it, and I can feel it! (and today is a perfect example)

I went swimming at lunch today....1900 meters total, I am pooped but know it was good for me. There was a gentleman in the lane next to me, I noticed that he seemed to be in a race (with who I am not sure). But good Lord, the guy was breathing so hard in between strokes I thought it was Darth Vader in the lane next to me. Everytime we would start out swimming at the beginning of a set, I could tell he was trying to beat me. I just stuck with the plan. Use the Touch, Pull and Roll, count my strokes and relax. The water is your friend. He was being coached by the same lady as I was and was doing the same workout. In the end, I finished 150 meters ahead of him, all because I followed the simple rule of:

"Slowly does it every time!" said the Tortoise.

Ironman Coach....check.

Yesterday was a huge day for me as I sat down with what I was hoping would be my Ironman Coach starting in January. She is what I like to call...the coolest 46 year old, soccer-mom-Kona-age-grouper-bad-ass. In other words, she juggles 3 kids, a husband, training for Ironman, going to Kona....THREE TIMES,....she is super-duper cool. Her name is Jennifer Reinhart and she coaches with Texas Iron. www.texasiron.net

We got to sit down for lunch yesterday and I went home very happy! We talked about goals, we talked about the dedication it will take to get there. It was really amazing! I never thought I would be to this point of trying to conquer a 2.4 mile swim (which by the way is going really well and I am feeling AWESOME), a 112 mile bike (no problem folks) and then a marathon. (yes, that is 26.2 miles)

I know that I can do this. Everyone has their own insecurities with training for something like this and I tend to beat myself up over and over again. But when I left yesterday, I knew that Jen was going to push my limits and see me through my very first Ironman.

She has this really amazing positive vibe about her...it's just awesome!

I can mark that off my checklist. Got my Ironman coach, I am ready to rock!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Swim Videos

Went to swim clinic tonight. Got to see what I look like under water because it was time to watch the videos from last week. Wow. The truth hurts. I AM making progress so I can't be too hard on myself BUT seriously.....zipper here, pull here, touch here, elbow here, then kick here, breathe here, ...AHHHHHHH, too much to think about. My brain hurts after tonights clinic.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Can I get some water wings please?

Shallow Coll


Call me Shallow...I don't care. I just think he is YUMMY! And did you see....2:46 at the NYC marathon.

Now if I could get him to STOP making out with 21 year olds.

This picture made my Monday....thank you Maggie.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ironman Florida!!!

A bit of a shout out to:

Patrick Evoe (Pro from Austin)
Richard Freer (Pro from Austin)
Clint Carbonneau (Tri coach from Orlando, FIRST Ironman!!)
Rick Stafford (First Ironman!!!)
Damon Krueger (friend from Michigan)

I will be watching AND I am getting updates via Text Message....rock it out my friends!!!

You ALL inspire me in this sport!!

Phoebe Running Style...



Got up this morning for my 10 mile run. It went ok....kept a 9:07 pace for the 10 miles.....a little slower than I want to be for my Marathon Goal Pace, but I have time.

I have to say, I think I looked a little bit like Phoebe in the video above. (one of my favorite episodes by the way)

We had to to 3 miles of hills smack dab in the middle of the 10 miles and it was SO hard.....and I think I looked a bit like her...and I didn't CARE, cause I felt so FREEEEEEEE!!!

***Quick update on the swimming: It is getting really good you all! Two weeks into my clinic and it is starting to make sense. I have to now take the new things I have learned and work on endurance!! Very exciting that now I am at 15 strokes for ONE length of the pool....when I started the swim a year and a half ago, I was at 32. I HAVE IMPROVED and I am really LOVING swimming now that I can see it making sense and gaining confidence! YIPPEEEEE. Ironman CdA, here I come!!!***

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

ARE YOU SERIOUS????


Lance Armstrong and Ashley Olsen appear to be getting friendly: The unlikely twosome have met up at least twice this week while the former Tour de France champ is in town for the New York Marathon, sources tell PEOPLE.

The pair first shared a special moment on Monday night, getting close at the Rose Bar inside the Gramercy Park Hotel. (The rendezvous was well-documented in New York's newspapers on Wednesday.)

An observer tells PEOPLE: "Lance was hanging with her, definitely. [Olsen] was very flirtatious, and was sitting on his lap."

Another source said Olsen was with a group and "hanging out, having a good time."

Armstrong, 36, and Olsen, 21, reunited again in the wee hours Wednesday at hip restaurant the Waverly Inn. (Armstrong was there earlier that evening with Texas pal Owen Wilson.)

The retired cyclist and fashion designer Tory Burch recently broke up after a year-long relationship. A rep for Armstrong had no comment.

October 31, 2007 Ashley Olsen has a new, older man. The 21-year-old twin showed up to the Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel Monday night with Tory Burch's ex, Lance Armstrong, 36. Our bar spy said, "They came together with a group of friends. Ashley drank red wine, sat on his lap and they were making out all night. They left together around 2 a.m." Armstrong has been spending more time in town since he bought a home here. Another source said, "He tried to make Tory happy when they were dating by buying a place here, but she couldn't deal with him not actually living in the same city, so they broke up." Olsen's rep didn't return calls.

This is not the news I needed today. I thought Lance and I were meant to be.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Finally....Sinead.

October 28th, 9 PM, Hogg Hall at UT, Sinead O'Connor. This is an artist I have admired since 1990 and 17 years after connecting with her music, I get to see her live. This is the first artist that I can remember identifying real pain in my life with music. This real pain is also what I like to call... "my first broken heart" in high school, thank you Todd. You know that first heartbreak where it hurts to breathe because every breath you take proves you can't live without him (or her).Ok, so I had to be a little dramatic for sentiments sake!!

Sinead's song, "Nothing Compares 2 U" was played over and over again (sorry Mom) and I just knew that somehow love would find its way back if I sat with this song.

According to my friend Dave, he told me not to bother writing about this show, that words would not do her justice, hearing is believing. I do agree with him, however, I just gotta say a few things in hopes that you might be swayed to listen to Sinead.

Theology is the best record that Sinead has put out in years. Whether you follow her or not you should purchase this double CD. I realize that some of you may just be those "Nothing Compares 2 U" sort of fan, but what you are missing out on is so much more. (And remember she didn't even write this song, so you are really missing out if you don't KNOW any of her originals) Many of the songs on this project are based on Scripture and some well known numbers like Jesus Christ Superstar's "I Don't Know How To Love Him" and the old reggae classic "Rivers Of Babylon". The album features recordings with one CD based London sessions and one on Dublin sessions. You get an acoustic version and a full band version..that is genius friends.

There is something about this album that demands our attention...well, there is something about her that demands our attention.

Over the course of a seamless 90-minute show, Sinead and her music are stirring, passionate, violent and inspired. A very simple stage, a five piece band, she walks you through this journey of pure ectasy. You wouldn't dare leave the auditorium to use the restroom, you just wouldn't. At first I thought it was bizarre that Sinead O'Connor kept her eyes on the stage floor (for most of last night's performance actually) She mentioned that fear is the reason for looking down, crazy enough, her voice remains quite unshakeable.

She begins with "The Emperor's New Clothes" and that got the evening started just right. I just love the fiddle, I love how her music feels as if you will walk outside and be in Ireland. Oh how I wish that were true!

She talks about becoming addicted to TV evangelists' while living in Atlanta and she talks about having interviews with the Christian media for her new album Theology. For the most part, she was embraced and they wanted to know about the music and then she mentions the small percentage of the interviewers that did not agree with her belief, "God perhaps doesn't want war." What happens next, is she backs it up with her song "If you Had a Vineyard" using direct scripture from Isaiah. You can't help but get caught up in this, you can't help but see that she really believes in what she writes and sings.

In a world where Gimme gimme more Gimme more (yes, oops I did it again, ms. spears)is a top iTunes seller, it was refreshing to sit in a room for 90 minutes and listen to MUSIC that has meaning and authenticity and pain.....need I say more?

On recent tours (I have read), Sinead would stay away from ealier work but she did not disappoint this time around.. One of my favorite moments was when she stood at the microphone and lifted her voice for "In This Heart." As she was joined in harmony one by one by her bassist, fiddler, and guitarist, the raw harmony and connection pulled a little bit of heaven onto the stage.

The night ended with sweet yet blaring "The Last Day of Our Acquaintance." Her "musical yells" (don't know what else to call them)are filled with so much more than just singing the song...it is from this deep place of being a woman on a journey and overcoming things that every day normal non-rock stars encounter. A woman who has lived in some rather dark places having battled bipolar disorder. A woman who created her own label so that she could record Theology the way SHE wanted to, not some mainstream music producer. "Theology is an attempt to create a place of peace in a time of war," said Sinead. "It is my own personal response to what has taken and is affecting everyone around the world since and including September 11, 2001. I want to be very clear - there is no message. No preaching. Nothing deep and meaningful the artist wants to say, nothing trouble making. I simply wanted to make a beautiful thing, out of something beautiful, which inspires me."

I read this recently.
"I am interested in the cause of rescuing God from religion" Sinead

I like that....and in many ways I think we all need to be rescued.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

14 miles...ugh.

Today was my first day back in the running game as far as long distance and trying to keep my Marathon Pace Goal....or MPG. It went ok...14 miles, but the last 3 REALLY hurt. I did run the whole way and my running buddy Carolyn was there, so it was nice to have company.

We did 14 in 2:08. Not bad..9:14 average.

The back of my right leg went numb again around mile 10. That can't be good, back to the Dr. this week.

We get to bring the mileage back to 10 the next few weekends BUT I know one of those is a hill workout.

Good times.

Tomorrow....80 miles in Blanco on the bike with Team Magleen(cha) That cha is Chad...he is coming along for this ride.

I am excited to be on the bike as the weather is PERFECT right now. It is only 63 degrees right now outside!!! Love that.

Friday, October 26, 2007

iSwim


First swim lesson...I was pretty nervous. Actually really nervous.

I show up at 715 and meet my new swim coach...Chrissie Novak.

She is super cool.

She makes you feel like you have been swimming for YEARS and that you just need a little tweaking.

We started with body positioning and working on using my rotation and I learned that freestyle is swimming on your side NOT swimming flat. (I just want you all to know that I am ok with sharing the secrets.) I swallowed A LOT of water going through different drills, I learned about pushing down on the water so that it brings my hips to the surface and keeps my body aligned. I learned about Touch Pull and Roll or TPR In just over an hour of being in the water I learned so much about gliding and being relaxed.

At the very end of my session Chrissie said, "you have good potentional Colleen. You learn quickly, you are strong and you catch on very fast. What is the fastest you have ever swam the mile in a Tri?"

I answer, "34:34"

She said, "We are going to get you under 30 minutes and my goal is that for your Ironman you see 1:15 for the 2.4 miles. You really do have a lot of potential in the water...keep working and try to get at least one other swim day so that you are swimming 3 times per week."

I left feeling like iSwim. Cause I do.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Swimming lessons


Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves. It has nothing to do with how many times you win or lose. It has no relation to where you finish in a race or whether you break world records. But it does have everything to do with having the vision to dream, the courage to recover from adversity and the determination never to be shifted from your goals.

How about that friends? In the world of triathlon, swimming has always been the place where I just don't know what the hell I am doing. Sure, I finish, and I finish average but my race always begins when I get OUT of the water. I find myself saying, "Colleen, you are going to the Olympics!!"(mind you, moving at a very slow pace). I have decided to change that...what I want is to concentrate on preparing to swim my race and let the other swimmers think about me, not me about them.

For sure...uh huh. uh huh.

So you know what? The water is my friend.....I won't fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water. You know the body does what the mind prefers. And up until this point I have preferred to not THINK about the water. Well, that all changes with TONIGHT. Stay tuned for more updates on what I like to call 8 weeks of swimming to an Olympic Gold Medal. Bottom line is this, in training everyone focuses on 90% physical and 10% mental, but in the races its 90% mental. I believe with a little bit of help on the physical, I can conquer the mental block that is free-style for 2.4 miles in the Ironman.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Something to Believe In...

I really really love Aqualung. They are a band from the UK that I got to see during South by Southwest, and I just adore the lead singer, Matt Hales, and his songwriting. I was listening to them on my iPod at work today and the song "Something to Believe In" came on, I stopped and thought......I need a little bit of that right now. It seems sometimes my life goes in a circle and I want to not be on repeat anymore. I so desperately want to reach for a hand to hold right now. I have seen a lot of pain in the last couple of months. Not all personal pain, but I have seen friends go through things that they just shouldn't have to go through. In that I tend to take on that hurt and I hurt for them....and find my emotions all over the damn place!!

Do you ever wonder if this world values truth anymore? Do you doubt the way you see yourselves and others when you really have no reason? Do you think that no matter how you try, you never find the one you want? Gosh, that would suck. I am longing for relationship.....and more importantly relationship with my Dad. I have realized I can't really try in a relationship until I try to fix what has been broken. I opened up my hands this weekend and found they were empty and it made me sad.


"Something To Believe In"

You talk too much.
Maybe that's your way
Of breaking up the silence
That fills you up.
But it doesn't sound the same
When no one's really listening

We stumble into our lives:
Reach for a hand to hold.
And any wonder
We need to find
A certain something, certain.

Turn out the light
And what are you left with?
Open up my hands
And find out they're empty.
Press my face to the ground
I've gotta find a reason.
Just scratching around
For something to believe in:
Something to believe in.

You have too much.
You're spending all your time
Collecting and discovering
It's not enough.
And no matter how you try,
You never find the one you want.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fear.

Wrote this a few months back.....actually it was around April. I have Richard to thank for this one.



Well I was once bound and determined,
But now that's been replaced by fear in being bound
By your determination to keep me here.

I've been your friend, lover, sister
Can you tell me what else is left?
And I've euphemized shouts with whispers til it's worried me to death.

And I've tried hard enough
Don't you think I've tried hard enough?

If I were standing at the crossroads and had to choose your life or mine,
If I chose my own existence would you still label it a crime?
When you can understand my pleading maybe I can tolerate your cries.
But you will never see these fears glisten wet in my eyes.

And these ties that bind my soul no, they're not to me at all.
I'm tired of lying in this position but I can't recover from this fall.
You tell me if I stay or if I go freedom's not an option that you give.
Well your infirmity is justifiable, it's your sickness I can't forgive.

And haven't I tried hard enough?
Don't you think I've tried hard enough?
Now I stand before my jury.
Yes I've been tried hard enough.

I should come with a warning.

I have disappeared, I am sorry.

I am back now.....just some lyrics for a song. I really should come with a warning.



Wait a minute mister,
I think it might be best,
Cause the way you look sure seems to suggest the slightest bit of interest,
I should come with a warning.

See the majority of my life I've been in rare form,
You know a couple of steps below the norm.
But I'd empty the pockets of the jeans I've worn tonight,
If you'll forget yourself until the morning.

Cause I'm thinking I could kiss you the warmest of all your breathing days.
You don't have to kiss me back.
I just need to be sure I remember the way,
It could make me comfortable.

See I haven't slept for going on five hundred years
And hide me 'neath the shade of the hand of fear,
And don't be confused the way I look is merely
A nack for finding dark corners.

Ask my friends cause they all think they know,
Least it seemed from the last letter that he wrote,
That I just can't calm down this hot-blooded music in my throat.
And in comparison it made him boring.

Still I'm thinking I could love you,
The sweetest of all your breathing days,
You don't have to give it back.
I just need to be sure I remember the way,
It could make me comfortable.

So wait a minute mister,
I think it might be best,
Cause the way you look sure seems to suggest
The slightest bit of interest.

I should come with a warning.

Monday, October 8, 2007

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Triathlons.

So true, so true. That is why I love this sport to no end.....I mean really love it. Yesterday's race was tough, really tough. Here is the recap.

I knew that I had backed off of training so after a major panic on Saturday (thanks Stephanie for talking me down) I had some good time to myself that evening (and listened to the new Annie Lennox and some Radiohead to calm me). I got up on Sunday morning and told myself to just enjoy each moment, that TODAY might not be about a personal best. And crazy enough, I listened to myself.

I began the swim and just relaxed thinking about finishing each stroke, and I felt strong. I finished the swim in 46 minutes, which is pretty consistent. I was happy to finish, now OFF to the bike!!

I felt really strong on the bike and decided I was going to really push myself keeping cadence high. This was a tough course with some good rollers and a few larger climbs. I thought by my bike computer I had come in under 3 hours.....the results say 3:04, averaging 18.2 mph. Still happy with that regardless. I am going to break 3 hours.....next time! Just gotta get a little stronger on those hills!

Now comes the run....I hop off my bike and my watch says 3:47....so I am thinking wow...if I could just pull out a 2 hour 1/2 marathon, I could be close to six hours and PR. So, I took off, watching my heart rate and keeping it low. This run course? The toughest thing I have ever run. It was rolling hill after rolling hill and by mile 3 a nerve in the back of my right leg was throbbing and my feet were hurting. My mental game started to go downhill. The run course is two loops and before you enter the second loop you go directly past the finish line. I actually considered walking right off the course and not doing the second loop. I knew that I was not in any kind of pain where I was going to hurt myself, and I needed to finish this. I turned the corner and saw a girl from my core class on Mon/Wed. She was struggling as well, this was her first Half Iron. We began to talk and decided that we would stick together during the second loop and see eachother through this. (Holly is her name)

So we trudged on, making small goals like...."ok, we are going to run to that sign and then decide what to do." AND "we are going to run this entire hill and then recover and walk at the top" It was awesome, I had made a new friend and we were determined to see one another through all of this. And we talked and chatted it up like two women can do that the last 6.5 miles started to fly by. Holly.....you rock! Way to go on your first Half Ironman.

What I didn't tell you is that when Holly and I decided to run together, I knew that any time goal was done and before this I felt myself looking down at my time every few minutes. So, I hit STOP on my watch. By far the most mature thing I have ever done racing. I didn't want to be tied to it anymore, and I just wanted to finish. I put the watch away and moved through the course trying to stay positive.

My run time?......2:34. Yes, not good for me. It's ok, it wasn't my day to shine that way!

So how does all this apply to the title of this post?

From Triathlons I know that each race is going to be different much like each day. We have the choice to approach it positively! (I know this is easier said than done.)

From Triathlons I know that sometimes it is about helping others and seeing them through the finish line. Quite often we get focused on self in this sport because it is so individual. But it felt so good to set aside my agenda and help someone (and in turn she helped me) on the journey.

From Triathlons I know that just finishing makes me a winner.

From Triathlons I know that discipline is something we need in life! But don't forget to turn off the watch and slow down and take in air and breath. I am so glad that I did.

From Triathlons I know that I am capable of so much more than I often give myself credit. I think this is a lesson I will learn over and over.

From Triathlons I know that it is really great when the announcer is a good friend, because it is so fun to hear your name on the big speakers! (had to put that in there, thanks Adam!!!)

I am thankful. I am thankful for the good friends I have met in this sport (Nate, please don't retire). I am thankful for the people that showed up yesterday to cheer me on.....Shelley, Thiele, Amber R., Ellen, the T3 folks, Lisa O., Maggie (at the finish, showed me the beer tent....good lady). thank you NOAH for being at the Finish Line and offering me the last bite of your burrito and some Vitamin Water. (happy now Noah??) I am thankful for good health, please don't take it for granted. One year and counting baby!!!

Got to do a bit of a shout out for my girl Maggie.....I am so glad that I met you in Austin and got to share this experience with you! I am excited for Ironman CDA and that adventure. We are going to rock the course as only Team Magleen can! It was a blessing in disguise when I found a riding buddy and my partner in crime for Couples Triathlon. Your dedication and athleticism are truly amazing (Third place in her age group yesterday....5:36...wow) BUT what I love most is the way you come alongside and support. You allow me to just BE....for me to be okay with who I am, whatever it is that I am doing, in any given moment. You teach me to be exuberant, wild, rich, deep, and rare! You are a precious friend and irreplaceable!

SO....live full, rich and rare....and revel in ordinary and extraordinary moments....if you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you. I CAME TO LIVE OUT LOUD!!!

(Longhorn Triathlon was my final race of the season....gonna recover a bit now and then get ready for Austin Marathon.)

Team Magleen at Couples Triathlon earlier in the season!

Maggie and I after finishing Longhorn Tri...love it!! (why are these two cute girls SINGLE??)

You just gotta laugh...it makes it all better! By the way Mags....I got my tickets...to your gun show...GOOD LORD!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

You Scream, I Scream....

We all scream for Ice Cream!!!

So, on my lunch I went to this little cafe my friend Vanessa showed me a few weeks ago that serves....VEGAN ICE CREAM.

So...that stays within my boundaries of no dairy. And let me tell you, it is Delish. You really can't tell the difference.

As I sat outside and ate my small bowl in the Texas heat, it reminded me of a song. (that I love)

Your love is better than ice cream
Better than anything else that I’ve tried
And your love is better than ice cream
Everyone here know how to fight

And it’s a long way down
It’s a long way down
It’s a long way down to the place
Where we started from

Your love is better than chocolate
Better than anything else that I’ve tried
Oh love is better than chocolate
Everyone here knows how to cry

It’s a long way down
It’s a long way down
It’s a long way down to the place
Where we started from...


I think I am going to cover this tune......is it possible to say Your Love is Better than ICE CREAM????

we shall see.

Picture Pages!!

Michelle & I at the Victory Party!!

Disney Tri ladies all dressed up for the Victory Party!

Me and Meghan...friend and cancer survivor!

my old roomie...miss her

my girls...Robin, Heidi & Andrea

Central Texas Disney Tri Finishers.....Go Team!!!

my niece and nephews latest picture!!

Fortune...and this weekend

Ok so here was my fortune cookie at lunch. (I only took one this time Kat)

"Keep your ideas flexible, and don't ignore details"

Does this have to do with this weekend? I am racing another Half Ironman this weekend here in Austin. Don't know how this one is going to go. I had a lot of old friends force me into having wine & beer in the last few weeks. (Thanks Florida) Normally I would say.....I am going to put a HURT on. But for this weekend, I would just like to cross the Finish Line. Look for my full race report on Sunday evening or Monday!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Turn my grief to grace

Come what may
I wont fade away
But I know I might change

Nothing comes easily
Fill this empty space
Nothing is like it was
Turn my grief to grace



These lyrics are from Kate Havnevik's song Grace. I love those words because they are what my last year was about for me....read on.

I got to see a lot of good people in Orlando last week. It was really really amazing. Some of you know, some of you don’t know. Last year was hard. Especially the last half of the year. I had some real pain in my life that I had not experienced EVER. And life got hazy. Relationships got hazy. Faith was hazy. God was super unclear to me. I questioned it all and doubted it all. Then the opportunity to move came along and I grabbed it. I wanted a change of scenery to wrestle through a lot of personal stuff, to heal a broken heart and to experience a new place. I know that some thought I was running but I know this move was Divine intervention in my life. I had already isolated myself enough (yes, my fault) in Orlando and because of the way I process things, I needed to go somewhere I didn’t question being judged. So, God took me to Austin. (I didn't seek this job out, it found me)

Some might say I got a new start. I don't really believe in new starts, that means you would constantly live in regret. It was a time for me to sit and allow grace to enter in. I could make no more excuses for my pain or grief at this point, and I so desperately wanted to heal. But I knew only in time...or at least I hoped. I see now that time is no longer a barrier.

In Orlando I sat with people that I was afraid friendships had been destroyed. I sat with people that prayed for me a year ago and knew they couldn’t force me into faith. How great it is to just be around and receive the love when you had anticipated something quite the opposite.

So I look back to a year ago and I can see and still feel the disappointment. It is not a disappointment that drives me to a bottle of Merlot and makes me want to curl up in my bed for an afternoon and shut the world out. It is a disappointment of experience. Seeing the journey from mistakes made through a lot of pain, into the doubt, learning to love myself, loving God, loving family. It is watching how God moved in me through the disappointment and knew I would return. Imagine the freedom of jumping one year ahead and seeing God when I didn’t think I ever would again!! (well that and enjoying a few glasses of Merlot and knowing it is not to numb the pain!!)

I have read a lot this past year. Many random, random things. (I am always up for suggestions too!!) There are two authors that have spoken the most into my life. Madeleine L’Engle and C.S. Lewis. So, I revisted a lot their books.

This quote sits in front of me at work.

"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to be sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.....The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and pertrubations of love, is Hell. To love is to suffer. To journey through love is to journey thru sadness." C.S. Lewis

I make no apologies for loving and then in turn, hurting, because thankfully...that is when God shows up. We are given the gift of being free to respond in our own way, creatively or destructively. I have realized that in my freedom, God has written the story.

Thanks to friends in Orlando that supported me when I couldn't accept it or realize it. I look forward to more visits your way.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"Important things are inevitable cliché."

My friend Scotty (wicked guitar player, smart music choices, all around nice guy) back in Orlando mentioned the book by Chuck Klosterman Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto. I decided to pick it up and have not been able to put it down. It is so delicious and fun at the same time. This quote.....one of my favorites thus far.

"Whenever I meet dynamic, nonretarded Americans, I notice that they all seem to share a single unifying characteristic: the inability to experience the kind of mind-blowing, transcendent romantic relationship they perceive to be a normal part of living. And someone needs to take the fall for this. So instead of blaming no one (which is kind of cowardly) or blaming everyone (which is kind of meaningless), I'm going to blame John Cusack."

I read this book a few years back on 80s pop culture and I remember when the author made a reference that most ladies from the 80s are in love with Mr. Cusack. (I mean, I have a t-shirt that says Mrs. Cusack.....is that weird?) So why not blame it on John. that makes total sense.

Pick up this book. It is really good.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Being Alive....

Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~Harold Whitman

Hmmm…..I like this. Maggie sent it to me. (if you don't know her, you should.)
How much of a difference could each single life made if we chose to sit in every single moment and really live? How would our quality of life change? Probably not a very difficult question to answer.

I have recently started to question this with my own job. I love doing the not-for-profit thing. I believe in helping people and cancer has affected my family in so many ways...it feels great to give back. But does it make me come alive? I honestly can’t say yes to that question. Don't get me wrong...I am happy....but alive? That is the dilemma.

This new job (that I haven't found yet) must include traveling to really great places, because NEW experiences/places.... make me come alive. Being in different cultures, meeting new people....makes me come alive. A friend mentioned I should have my own show on the Travel channel where I train & sing at every location. Or maybe I could review some really good/unknown bands in far off distant places? Anyone have any connections out there?

So I need a traveling-running-biking-swimming-music-concert watching-job!!!!

help.

some time off...I needed that.

I know I have not blogged in quite some time....I took a team to the Disney Triathlon and then spent some really good time with friends from Orlando....hanging out, catching up, coffee, wine, tea, sushi....it was really great to see people and to feel like God has moved some internal reconciliation into my life. I have much to say but I am in the airport and about to board a plane....so, later....I will write on all that I took in this past week!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Brandi, Brandi, Brandi


You walk into Texas Union Ballroom and it couldn't be a more perfect place for Brandi Carlile to play. With candle-lit chandeliers and dark wood everywhere, a random stage set up on one side and people began to filter in. It's an intimate setting...maybe at max holds around 500. It wasn't sold out, but it should have been.

I just finished reading this book, "This Is Your Brain on Music. The Science of a Human Obsession." There was a chapter in the book where it talked about music and emotion. Those of you that know me, know I feel everything to the deepest extent. There is NO gray area in my feeling. (I know it drives a lot of people absolutely NUTS) In the book it says that music communicates to us emotionally through systematic violations of expectations. Those violations being domain of pitch, timbre, contour, rhythm, tempo and so on. Brandi does just that with every song. She moves you to this place where you want to escape with every word and sit with that feeling for a little while.

Her show....a bit of a religious experience. Pulling from both of their releases (2005’s self-titled Brandi Carlile and this year's The Story), the band moves through crowd favorites like "What Can I Say," "Closer to You," "Josephine," "Wasted", and you anticipate the recent album's title track. Carlile's incredible pipes alternate between growling notes and swooning melodies, displaying the impeccable control and ingenuity that is so rare in contemporary vocalists. Her flip from chest to head voice is for the most part....seamless, and when it isn't, it makes sense. They come back out for an Encore and attack a cover song you won't generally hear a woman singing. One can only imagine the smile on my face as they began to play Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues," and Carlile pulls it off with all the playful regret Cash intended, proving once and for all that she knows what she does best, and won't stop until everyone else does, too. Gib Droll was a guest guitarist with them for the evening and his solo on "Folsom Prison Blues" is a spotlight-stealer. (if you don't know who Gib Droll is, well he is an absolute gem. I have seen him play with a few bands and he always adds this extra 'thing'. He just has it.) You can't forget the cello player on stage as well, who is given a few moments to shine, and shine Neumann does....it is cool to see a cello player rock out.

This band was on. I mean ON.

There were a few moments in the evening when Brandi went completely out of the box. She sat down with her 4 band members and did a 3 song set totally acoustic. Then she did one new song completely unplugged. Even her vocals. Totally in the air, and you could still feel her energy without the sound system.

One particular moment I probably won't forget is when she sat by herself during the Encore and played a new song. It was a song about a friend who had committed suicide when she was 16 and 10 years later, had finally made peace with it. Her vulnerability made you feel as if it was just you and her in your living room...talking about tough life shit.

So she wrote a song about making peace and forgiving her friend. These words:
"I was 16, I was a Baptist, I was angry, I was a daughter, I was wrong."

After that, she stood, switched guitars and broke into Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" Soulful, honest, careful. It was the perfect ending to a perfect night of music.

Her tour might be coming to a city close to you. I paid $18 for these tickets. I would have paid $50. Check our her schedule here and make it happen.

In the words of Shakespeare:

"If music be the food of love, (Brandi) play on."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rootless Tree

Broken hearts. Suck. Two steps forwards, two steps back. That is they way it seems. You know he isn't good for you, but you can't learn to let go.....completely. I downloaded this song last night and it is really the way I feel.

Damien Rice said it right in "Rootless Tree":


What I want from you is empty your head
They say be true, don't stay in your bed
We do what we need to be free
And it leans on me like a rootless tree

What I want from us is empty our minds
We fake the thoughts, and fracture the times
We go blind when we've needed to see
And this leans on me, like a rootless...

*uck you, *uck you, *uck you
And all we've been through
I said leave it, leave it, leave it
There's nothing in you
And did you hate me, hate me, hate me, hate me so good
That you just let me out, let me out, let me out
Of this hell when you're around

What I want from this
Is learn to let go
No not of you
Of all that's been told
Killers re-invent and believe
And this leans on me, like a rootless...




That's all for today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

just a few more pics!!







Some explanations:

1. Day One...Let's get this party started right.
2. yeah. That's me.
3. Don't Know What's Happening Here.
4. Indigo Girls..Did I mention their show?
5. Um, apparently this is where Steph said I got "interesting" One can only imagine what that means.

So at some point I need to work today. But why? I think I want a job with ACL. I am going to look into that!

Top Hits from ACL 2007

Poor Little Rich Boy, Regina Spektor- she began playing the percussion with the right hand on a chair (with a drumstick), then started playing the piano with her left...and then started singing. I tried this, it's hard. And she sounded amazing.

Keep The Car Running, Arcade Fire- this was by far the best set played at ACL. Once again, get there newest album, Neon Bible. Well worth the purchase. You will thank me. (I thank my friend Iskra) This song is so infectious, but if you ask me....that is just who they are...infectious.
.
Kid Fears, Indigo Girls- this is one of my all time favorite Indigo Girls tunes. And to see it live was so very personal. Just go check out the lyrics.

Jenny Don't be Hasty, Paolo Nutini- 20 year old Scottish singer song-writer. I know this is not the favorite of most Nutini fans, but I love this song off his most recent album These Streets, it's about a woman Nutini met in London's 12 bar. Expert simple lyrics, catchy tune. Just plain fun and he's not bad to look at either.

I Turn My Camera On, Spoon- Probably the song I love best from their album Gimme Fiction. The beat makes you want to dance (mixed with a few beers of course!!) It's the song that made me like Spoon. Brit, will you go out with me?

Sky Blue Sky, Wilco- Jeff Tweedy's soulful vocals and guitar player Nels Cline answer to the vocals. It's a beautiful conversation. They are a band I could see over and over again.

Are you Diggin on me?, Joss Stone- She opens her mouth and the lost child of Irma Thomas comes belting out. I have a friend here that vows she oversings but I find her quite gushing!! Soulful as all get out!!

All These Things That I've Done, The Killers- I just love that they ended their set with this. It's a good song, Brandon Flowers sang that crud out of it and I went home happy! It was a great way to end day #1!!

So those are the few that come to mind....just off the top of my head but I know there were more than 8 from the whole weekend! The best 2 covers I heard this weekend...I Wanna Be Like You (yes, from the Jungle Book) done by paolo Nutini and Midnight Train to Georgia done by the Indigo Girls. The first was just fun and the second completely blew you away!!

Are you all SICK of my ACL banter? I am sure you are....but you will have to deal.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Austin City Limits- It's A Wrap!!





So, ACL is done. It's now Monday afternoon and I am in the recovery phase! I just dropped my good friend Stephanie off at the airport and we have tons of good memories from this weekend!

The last day Recap!!

Ben Kweller was up first! Very entertaining and super cute in a nerdy kind of way! He is sticking around Austin to record his next album.

Then we moved to the stage next door where we saw Common. This was the replacement for Rodrigo y Gabriela. Not much of a replacement. Shame on you Rodrigo. I was not aware the lead singers name was "common", just so you all know. It is.

We moved over to see the one and only Lucinda Williams, I wish I would have gone to Bloc Party. I like Lucinda....but she was a bit small for the big stage they threw her on.

Next was Regina Spektor. Just her and the piano. It came across as though she was settting up to play a recital for her grandparents. It was very cute how overwhelmed she was with the large crowd before her. She did her music justice and proved herself as a talent to watch over the next few years. "Poor Little Rich Boy" was done one-handed...more on this at a later post...GENIUS!!

Wilco was next. Wilco gave a GREAT show and I wish they would have ended the festival rather than have the 630-745 time when the sun wasn't down yet. They would have been a great 90 minute spot at the end of a 3 days festival. Wilco closed down the AMD stage with a brilliant set. It not only rocked hard, but was remarkable for the contrast between the mastery shown in endearing melodies, impeccable arrangements and beautiful lead and harmony vocals, and the sheer havoc that erupted around the margins. You MUST see them live at some point. The set had multiple peaks, but Wilco still managed to make the end a real climax with a searing “Casino Queen” (from A.M.). (I know that Stephanie and Amber will recall I had to move further back to take a seat on the grass about half way through, I am glad I did this, as I was able to enjoy them even more from my blanket on the grass!!)

ahhhh.....then the anticipated Dylan. Yes. For those of you that are Dylan fans, I may hurt your feelings but I want you to know that I am just trying to be honest. And well, I am pretty sure a lot in Austin would agree with me. I was pretty disappointed with Bob. First let me start with telling you, I am a fan. But I don't think this kind of crowd (which consisted of a lot of us iPod agers) could really appreciate. We know that Dylan is not known for his vocals, I mean....I don't find him soothing at all at this point in his career but wow....even if you are charitable about that, his music is not right for the BIG finish you want at a festival you paid $120+ for tickets. Dylan never acknowledged the fans, I mean NEVER. He never said hello Austin, I am glad to be here....maybe he doesn't have to, but it was really self-indulgent to the point where he began to piss me off. He wore his large white hat, with his face in the shadows and moved from instrument to instrument as if he were at rehearsal. The fact is people started leaving 2 songs into the set because it seemed disconnected and frustrating.
As was said in the paper today..."Now you don't look so proud" applies to himself. Ouch. Some saving grace is that the band was excellent, rock solid and Denny Freeman and his georgeous solos were a total wonder.

Here is the bottom line. Would I pay to see Dylan again? Yes. Maybe at a smaller venue like House of Blues or the Paramount but at a place like ACL? Never again.

I ended Friday night with the Killers, Saturday night with Arcade Fire and really wanted Sunday night to be the same.....I will give it to Wilco. Sorry Bob.

Until Next Year.....I will be posting a list of the top 10 songs from the weekend for sure! Be on the lookout!

This Wednesday......Brandi Carlile!!! It's gonna be good!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Austin City Limits- Day 2



Holy crap. I love this festival.

Started off with Paolo Nutini- incredible. I don't even know what to say.

Damien Rice- his vocals and keys were amazing.

Cold War Kids- not sure, I fell asleep on my blanket. Could have been too much sun and beer.

Indigo Girls- I don't have time cause I am tired. I was in the VERY front. I mean, I couldn't get any closer. They did some stuff with just the two of them and then they totally ROCKED out the last 5 songs of the set. It was an experience. They know how to move an audience and their lyrics are true poetry. 5-3-Human played with them on the last 5 songs and the lead singer for them...wow. They did this rockin' version of Midnight Train to Georgia. I have it on video. Wow.

Arcade Fire- this was mine and Steph's closer. What a bunch of talented freaks. The main girl in this band played EVERY instrument. Vocals, keys, violin, accordion, drums, glockenspiel....but every single person in this band connected to what they were doing. If you don't have any of there stuff. Shame on you. Cause they know how to make music.

Ok, I am tired. Day three tomorrow.....

Yo la tengo.
Ben Kweller
Lucinda Williams
Regina Spektor
Wilco
BOB DYLAN

How great is this weekend.

Austin City Limits- Day 1



What a night.

Joss stone sang her pants off. It made me remember when I got to see her a few years back with friends Scotty and Kristin at Hard Rock in Orlando. She is now 21 years old and can hold her own on a large stage.

Spoon. Another great performance with a few songs I didn't hear the night before. I love Brit Daniel. He is single. Maybe there is hope.

We heard the last bit of the Kaiser Chiefs performance and they were rocking as well......

Our final show of the night. The Killers. They put on a performance. Brandon Flowers did his thing for real. All These Things That I've Done...final song. Rightly so.

We then walked over to catch the last 15 minutes of Bjork. I wasn't impressed. She ended early and then came out to do an Encore. Nobody else did that, they just played an hour. Her back up singers were dressed in something that resembled Oompah-Loompah's. There was so much techno that you couldn't really hear her.

Today's schedule:

Paolo Nutini
Cold War Kids
Blue October
Damien Rice
Indigo Girls
Arcade Fire

and maybe a few other random walk by's

Until tomorrow

Friday, September 14, 2007

My Lil' Japanese Cig Case


La Zona Rosa, Thursday September 13, a little band called Spoon. If you have not got any of there stuff, there new album Ga, Ga, Ga, Ga, Ga (love the title) is a MUST buy and while you are at it, just purchase Gimme Fiction. You will thank me for sure. It was a sold out house and what a show it was. After hearing the opening band Sound Team (who are also great), Spoon took the stage. They are a local Austin band that has taken off. And there song My Lil Japanese Cig Case off their new album & I Turn My (camera on) were both favorites of mine for the night. They played well over an hour of music and it was the perfect way to kick off Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Gimme Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga are full of immaculately crafted, concise pop gems. I use the word 'pop' loosely. What I love is that each song finds Brit Daniel (lead singer) and Jim Eno (drummer) exploring the tension between a tight rhythm section and chaotic production techniques (from messy guitar parts to bizarre samples). It's beautiful.

I can't wait to blog on the rest of the weekend. I am leaving in about two hours for Bela Fleck, Peter Bjorn and John, Joss Stone, Spoon (yep again) finishing the night off with The Killers. And that is just Friday night folks.

It's good to be in Austin.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fortune Cookies

Here is what my Fortune at lunch time was:

ONE: Good things will come to you in due time. (I hope that means a smaller ass and a hot man)

TWO: Just be yourself, you are wonderful. (everyone needs to hear that once and again)

Desiree & Grapefuit

Ok, so you may have seen this months Runner's World. Yes, Desiree Ficker is on the front. (pictured right. That is not me. Yet.) Yes, she is an athlete I look up to. And what is cool....yeah folks, she lives in Austin. So there are days I see her on the track at Austin High School and there are days that I see her on Town Lake Trail. (or Lady Bird Trail) Last year she got 2nd place in the Kona Ironman championships. With someone who looks and is this tough, you might say I would follow her training/eating regimen to the end.

That is where the Grapefruit comes in. She says in Runners World that she eats one every day. You guessed it, I have a drawer full of Grapefuit in my fridge. I have eaten one everyday. (I am only 5 days into this, but already I feel strong.) Ok, maybe that was a lie.

Let's look at the nutritional value of a Grapefruit, shall we?

Grapefruit is an excellent source of many nutrients and phytochemicals, for a healthy diet. Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C, pectin fiber, and the pink and red hues contain the beneficial antioxidant lycopene. Studies have shown grapefruit helps lower cholesterol and there is evidence that the seeds have low levels of antioxidant properties. Grapefruit forms a core part of the "grapefruit diet", the theory being that the fruit's low glycemic index is able to help the body's metabolism burn fat. Grapefruit Seed Extract has been claimed to be a strong antimicrobial with proven activity against bacteria and fungi.

Desiree Ficker eats grapefruit. So does Colleen.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ironman Coeur d'Alene



I am going to be starting a Training Blog come January of 2008 but I will officially announce it here. My first IRONMAN. 2008. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (or as my friend Robin likes to call it- Quarter Lane)

I will take on a 2.4 mile swim
then a 112 mile bike
and finish it off with a 26.2 mile run.

All in one day. June 22, 2008 that is. Heidi Hanna and her family made it super possible for me to get into this race and I am so very grateful. Since I became addicted to the sport of triathlon a little over a year ago, I knew an Ironman would be in my future.

This is going to be a huge day for me. You may not understand why I do this. I don't ask you understand much like you wouldn't ask me to understand being married, having kids.....or wherever life has taken you. Support me and this dream. I am going to rock this course in 2008.


Just you wait.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Who Am I?

So today our work had to go to this Insights Training about our Personality and how we work with others. We learned about our Strenghts and Limitations (the facilitator did not like to call them Weaknesses). After 5 hours of reading about yourself, analyzing, discussing.....my head hurts a lot. I mean, I have done this before in groups but do you ever feel like God might have made a mistake when He put you together? Cause that is how I felt by the end of the session. More on this later, I will share part of the test with you all.

I am tired and I have rehearsal in one hour.

**As a side note, whatever you do in your life, pray...meditate.....talk at the Universe....positive thoughts....my friend Angie Davis at the age of 34 had a masectomy a few days ago. The pathology test came back with pretty bad results. She has 3 small children and it having a difficult time. Her family could use lot's of love right now. They have a long road of treatment ahead of them.

Until later.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I don't work anymore

for those of you that might be wondering....I don't work anymore.

Songs to go to Bed with....

    After my list of songs to wake up to....I thought to myself..."Self, what do you like when it is time for bed?" Here's my list! (The other reason...music is on my brain a lot these days. I have an exciting month coming up....Spoon on the 13th, ACL festival 14-16, Brandi Carlile 19th.....I might explode!!!)

  1. Peter Pan, Patty Griffin- Really anything of hers would suit me just fine. I love her stuff in a lady crush kind of way. She lives in Austin. Maybe we will become best friends. This song just gets me.

  2. Lover, You Should’ve Come Over, Jeff Buckley- “She’s the tear that hangs inside my soul forever” Nuff Said.

  3. Grace, Kate Melankton- If you don’t know her, you should be slapped right now. She is my newest find from SXSW festival. Her voice-haunting. Her lyrics-engaging. This song done with upright bass, a little piano and her voice. Can you see me with my woobie…off to bed I go.

  4. Nice Dream, Radiohead- off one of my favorite albums The Bends. (and to think after Pablo Honey I didn’t want to give them a chance, I would have missed out. I have Andy Simonds to thank for this) This song is hypnotizing which is why I don’t listen to it when I am driving.

  5. Night Time Is (The Right Time), Ray Charles- first memory is watching The Cosby show like every other family did in the 80s…waiting to see what the Huxtables would do next. Other than that memory, this song makes me want to sleep…..not alone though. Sigh.

  6. 1963, Rachel Yamagata- Her sound is retro, her guitar licks are delish. You go to bed with a smile. “I feel like I’m loving you in 1963.” That has to mean something good.

  7. Hai Luli, Cecelia Bartoli (singer) Pauline Garcia (composer)- Bartoli is my favorite Italian Operatic singer. A seductive treatment of a song asking, “where can my love be?” Funny, I ask myself that a lot.

  8. Letting You Go, Lauren Kennedy (singer) Jason Robert Brown (songwriter)- I couldn’t do this list without one true shout out to some show tunes. If you aren’t a fan of showtunes, Jason Robert Brown will change your mind. Just go buy The Last Five Years (and then thank me later) JRB is genius on the piano and everything about his writing is tasteful. Always a story…and not a cheesy, put on your tap shoes kind of story.

  9. Most of the Time, Bob Dylan- Most of the time I'm halfway content, Most of the time I know exactly where I went. Most of the time. I couldn't say it any better. God Bless Dylan.

  10. Come Pick Me Up, Ryan Adams- Harmonica, Harmonica, Harmonica. I wish you would. This was my first Ryan Adams song….not my last.

  11. Feelin’ Love, Paula Cole- I don’t think I want to explain this song. If you know it….you get it. Plus anyone that can work damn skippy baby into a song deserves a lot of play time.

Radio Retro Band....Austin Tri....Come on out!!!

MONDAY – SEPTEMBER 3, 2007 – Radio Retro will be performing this coming Monday, Labor Day, September 3rd at Auditorium Shores on the Finish Line Stage for the Austin Triathlon. Come out and support the band and all the amazing athletes on the shores of Lake Ladybird. The band will start at 10am and play until 12pm to entertain the projected crowd of over 3000. Yours truly will be racing this event AND then will jump up on stage and give you some Journey, Blondie, Eurythmics....good sounds of the 80s!!!

Here’s some info on the event:

The Austin Triathlon will be a premier international distance triathlon event held in downtown Austin. The Austin Triathlon is an International Distance event: 1500m Swim, 40kM bike, 10 kM run. This will prove to be an event you definitely don't want to miss. Event features include:

  • Live music on the bike and run course and a special featured performance by Austin 80’s band, RADIO RETRO, on the main Finish Line Stage.
  • Post race massage and ART for racers.
  • Post race food, drinks, beer, and ice cream.
  • Don T. Bonk.
  • Squirt guns on the run course.
  • Multi-sport expo.
  • Finish Line Carnival with games and over $4000 in free stuff!

More info and registration for racers - http://www.texastriseries.com/events/austintri/info.asp - http://www.jackandadams.com

Flugtag- what the?

My Saturday night consisted of going to Town Lake and watching the Red Bull Flugtag (pronounced floog-tag) USA. Yes, it's a competition of sorts and my stomach was hurting from so much laughter. It is what you call an Extraordinary Flying Contest. And extraordinary it was....this competition did not disappoint. Teams are judged on three criteria: distance, creativity and showmanship. What constitutes a craft is purely up to the imagination of the participating teams. And well, I learned on Saturday night that imagination is truly relative....Past Red Bull Flugtag entries have included a pregnant cow, a diaper-delivering stork, a pimped-out Cadillac, a giant Oompa Loompa, and yes folks -- a lobster named Larry. ALL being launched off a 30 foot flight deck.

The event in Austin was the first time that flugtag had gone nighttime in Northamerica. Yeah, Texas is always looking for ways to go bigger and better! (and maybe this is why they say everything is bigger in Texas?) Local team Skate and Destroy took home first place and soared into Red Bull Flugtag history on an enormous skateboard as they climbed their ultimate ramp and performed tricks off of the 30-foot flight deck before splashing into the waters below. At this point, those of you in Orlando are like....."what? Where the heck have you moved? It's not too late Colleen. Come back!!!"

All those involved in launching themselves off of this deck deserve an award of some sort. I wish you all could have seen this. You should checkout the website: http://www.redbullflugtagusa.com/Default.aspx

be prepared...flugtag may be coming to a city near you, get your flying machine ready!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mr. Roosevelt

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt

I came across this quote in an old journal, copied it and put it on my mirror in my bathroom. I think Mr. Roosevelt knew what he was talking about. I guess that is why I do the things I do. I know my move to Austin did not make sense to a lot of people after 9 years in Orlando, I know that leaving the world of Mickey Mouse & full time entertainment to go work for a non-profit certainly didn't make sense to a lot of people. I know that cycling 100 miles on a given weekend, racing 70.3 on another seems absolutely crazy. But i do it because when my time is done on earth I want to know I lived it.....that I am entering the grave totally worn out!! (as my other favorite quote says)

I guess we all have our ways of doing that. I have friends that dwell on what they don't have and it makes me sad (for them). The world at time can tell us that in order to have some kind of significance we have to have a spouse, 2 cars, the house, the kids and a savings account by a certain age. hmmmm....I am really sick of what the world says. It is said that many good things come to those who wait....but in my life the best things have come when I have seized the moment and made it my own!!!

In truth there are times when I have doubted in HUGE ways that God doesn't know what He is doing with me. And there has been disappointment....but today I learn to anticipate. I wish, I wish that I could know the places I have yet to go, the ways I will change and the things I will get to do! (and in that all the good music I will add to my collection!)

Crazy that looking back to those words I read as a child ...... teach me more today:

"The more things that you read, the more things you will know. The more things that you learn, the more places you'll go." Dr. Seuss

Friday, August 24, 2007

Word of the Day-thanks Maggie!

SUPERFLUOUS- su·per·flu·ous Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[soo-pur-floo-uhs]
–adjective
1. being more than is sufficient or required; excessive.

2. unnecessary or needless.

3. Obsolete. possessing or spending more than enough or necessary; extravagant.


Examples:
And it's hard to realize economies of scale without shedding superfluous jobs.

Everything superfluous is more noticeable in him [Hemmingway] than in other writers.

An authority which makes all further argument or illustration superfluous.

There is even a website. http://www.superfluous.com At this site, pictures are posted that were found on the sidewalk, in the park, or on the street. GENIUS!! Good use of the word.

ok....I better watch it or I am going to have a superfluous blog....YIKES!!

Any good uses...please share.

And thanks Maggie for bringing this word to my vocab. You are a good friend.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

what IS music?

Me again. Get your shopping done, put your kids to bed, open a bottle of wine or a beer, ok? Then I'll begin...

As most of you know when I lived in Orlando, Infusion was my satellite office. I loved getting my tea, a bit of vegetarian cuisine and would sit with my laptop, a book or a journal. I have not found my place here yet…but I do take the time to get away and reflect. And I love sitting and chatting with people…

Anyhoo, about two weeks ago I got into a discussion with a few other music folk here and we asked the question 'what exactly IS music?'. It's a good one.... Music is very odd. It is colourless, odourless (apart from acid jazz which stinks of fish) invisible and only exists in the heads of people who listen to it. And people who write it. And it is tremendously powerful and important and universally valued (apart from switzerland where they prefer mime). But WHERE IS IT? IF I PUT IT IN A BAG, the bag REMAINS EMPTY.....

Nonetheless I am a Musician/Artist. I sometimes even get paid for doing it. (not really, that would be ridiculous...)

So i'm like a builder who makes walls out of nothing, that you can't put anything on, but that everyone agrees are there. Unless they don't want to .... listen to them. Analogy poorly thought out. Abort. (step away from the cabernet Colleen)

Music and art and new ideas and insight are all around us all the time like a celestial fart. Some people can't smell it. Artists and musicians and geniuses are just odd people who can smell it. Who love smelling it, who try and get him to do one under the covers and dive under, nostrils gaping. Because we live on it. And we can turn it into something that lots of people can smell, or read or hear. And that makes people happy. And that's why it's good being a musician.


If you listen to music. It will exist. And I like that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sinead O'Connor

My friend David recently got to interview Sinead. His interview is at this link below. I have always been a Sinead fan from the very first time I heard Nothing Compares 2 U and I thought I would never recover from my first broken heart. Read this interview. It rocks.

http://www.filter-mag.com/index.php?id=15022&c=2

Neologism Contest

Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. Some of the winners are:

Coffee (n): the person upon whom one coughs.

Flabbergasted (adj.): appalled over how much weight you have gained.

Abdicate (v.): to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Esplanade (v.): to attempt an explanation while drunk.

Negligent (adj.): describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

Lymph (v.): to walk with a lisp.

Gargoyle (n.): olive-flavored mouthwash.

Flatulence (n.): emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash (n.): a rapidly receding hairline.

Rectitude (n.): the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

Frisbeetarianism (n.) ~ (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

Songs to wake up to

Songs to wake up to:

I don't want a buzzer. I don't want the local shouting DJ. I want splendid music to wake me up with a smile, a wink ....

1 just kissed my baby the meters
Oh my. God. I am up up and away. No way this day is getting away from me. No sir.

2 good vibrations the beach boys
No less joyful than the meters. Ideal for sundays.

3 ticket to ride the beatles
Perfection. Heavy and light all at once. Leave the light off just let your eyes adjust to the morning glow.

4 I am a wheel wilco
More coffee? MORE COFFEE?

5 walk round the corner the 45s
Not sure if i'm allowed to choose stuff from my own back catelogue, but here's me in 1999 when my mornings generally started in the afternoon. Guitars are cool.

6 rock steady aretha franklin
Somebody hold me down somebody sit on my chest I will EXPLODE if I can't get up and jiggle around in the kitchen feeling like i'm in an excellent film from 1974.

7 neighbourhood #1 arcade fire
This album is like a day. A day in which a load of bad stuff happens but neverthless a day you wouldn't change. This is the first song so it's time to wake up.

8 rag mama rag the band
What a bunch of freaks. I love the band so much.

9 oh you pretty things david bowie
I think this is about time with my daddy. Let's get our stuff together and go swimming and after you can choose something from the dangerous vending machine. Saturdays with my dad. (i miss them and hold those memories close since we don't live near and our relationship has severely changed over time)

10 harlem bill withers
Ok. Technically a nightime/evening song but something about the way it builds and builds and then steps up a key and the cymbals come in... Seems like a better way than most to start your day.

As my alarm went off this morning and the random DJ came on and then some idiot pop princess with auto tune started with some funky beat, it made me think. I need to find a better radion station & it made me come up with this list.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Man-Pants

Apparently a few of you felt I did not tell the full story on the man-pants. Did they bother me? No. Did they enhance my performance? hmmmm...maybe? Actually, NO...they did not enhance me. I did the hard work, they were just pants and what made them man pants is they came down to my knees. My regular racing shorts are about mid thigh so now I have two really colorful tan lines that make my legs even HOTTER. It just makes me laugh to say man-pants. That's all.

Arkansas 70.3

Well, well, well.....yes, I have raced in Arkansas. And I wanted to give a full report. Now I realize that some of you out there might not be so keen on the Triathlon thing. But I say, read on...my play by play will give you much joy. And if it doesn't, just lie to me and say that it did.

FRIDAY- August 17th, 7:00 AM Maggie, Amber and Colleen throw three bikes on the back of a SUV and hit the road for Arkadelphia, Arkansas where the Iron Mountain Half Ironman will take place the following day. To prepare for this 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run (yes, all in one day) it has been about 5 months of hard work, some injury along the way and MUCH perseverance!! We begin the 7 hour drive to our destination and there is much chatter in the car of anxiety, nervousness, fear of really hot weather, constant potty breaks because we are trying to stay hydrated, and outright laughter ...well the list could go on.

Music was key in the trip out as we had several different artists to entertain us and each person was responsible for ONE Arkansas mix. Mine consisted of Brandi Carlile, Ryan Adams, Salt -n- Peppa, Jeff Tweedy, The Ditty Bops, Five For Fighting, Rachel Yamagata, Citizen Cope....in other words good stuff.

As we got closer....a thought occurred to me. In my rush that morning, I forgot to take my racing shorts OFF the drying rack and put them in my bag. At our next potty break, I open my race bag and find that yes folks....I have no shorts. My next hope is that the Expo at Packet Pick-up will have shorts. So, I have 3 hours to wait and see. We get to the Expo, no Women's Shorts my size, so I buy a pair of Men's Tri shorts which are virtually the same except they are longer than I would like. So, I begin to talk about the "man pants" I will have to wear in my race the next day.

next stop....Cabin Fever! I had reserved a cabin right near the race start, that sleeps 5 people (we had two others joining us later that day, Tina & Naomi) This cabin was SWEET! We had the upper level of a cabin home, complete with a deck, grill and retro furniture. We got settled in, waited for Tina & Naomi to arrive and left to go drive the bike course.

As we started to drive, I made notes in my binder of where the difficult climbs were, where the aid stations and bottle swaps would be and I began to visualize myself ROCKING this course from mile 1 to 56!!! We finished that, went back to the cabin, cleaned up, made dinner, got our bikes and gear ready for race day and were in bed by 930!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18th 5:00 AM, RACE DAY!!!!- My alarm went off at 5 am, got up started the hot water for oatmeal, started the coffee maker and changed into my race top and "man pants" Ate my race morning meal of oatmeal, banana and coffee, loaded up the bikes, used el bano one more time and we are OFF to set up our transitions!

RACE CAP!

Swim: The swim began at 7:08 AM for All Women in the Half Iron. I took off, just trying to think about my method of swimming. Swimming is what I have had to work on the most and it is my least favorite. I am NOT competitive in the water, I just want to get through and then my race begins!! I popped out of the water at 46:01 (I took off 2.5 minutes from my Half in October 48:25) I was happy and took off for my bike.

Bike: The weather was kind to us as we had TOTAL cloud cover and no high temps for the majority of the bike. I was so glad we had driven the course the day before. I knew where each difficult hill came up, I was shifting as if I had ridden this course 10 times. I was confident on the flats and I rode the course in 3:05 (my time from October 3:12) I had kept an 18.5 mph average on this course, and with two 5 mile climbs in the course and some random steep climbs along the way, I knew I had gotten stronger and was had ROCKED the bike.

Run: Now 13.1 miles. This course was tougher than I had anticipated. A lot of difficult climbs, and they were long climbs...so endurance on hill work was key. I have started to work on this, but I am not rockstar YET. My goal was to watch my heart rate and stay in the 75-80% of my max. Not pushing it until I hit the last 3 miles. I really stayed true to this and when I hit mile 10, I had a lot of juice let in me to really run hard. My final run time 2:21. (October's time, 2:29) I only took off 8 minutes but this course was tougher and I raced smarter finishing with a smile on my face and a first place finish in my division!! My final time 6:16....in October I raced 6:36...I am happy with 15 minutes off on a tougher course)

We opened up our celebratory beers...oh because Maggie and Amber had placed SECOND & FIRST in their divisions!! We fired up the grill for our Buffalo Burgers and sat out on the deck talking about our day, what we had learned and how we can't WAIT until our next race.

Austin Tri- Labor Day, Olympic Distance
Longhorn Tri- October 7, Half Ironman


In this race I learned that I am stronger than I give myself credit and I was reminded of how much this sport ignites me!! I am thankful for fun girls to race with that are encouraging and so completely supportive! It was a great day of racing....

Until next time.

C-C Nay Nay (that is what Maggie calls me)