Monday, December 31, 2012

Music of 2012

This year, when suddenly, the radio station I listen to became a sports station, I started listening to pop music again in a way that I haven't for a long time. Usually, I would either listen to my radio station (progressive talk radio) or I would listen to CDs for the shows I'm rehearsing. After the change of my radio station, I rediscovered music. What a pleasure. So here is a mix of the songs that were popular as I returned to the world of popular music. I feel like it was the right time - some other years, I might have just been left hanging.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Missing Dad

Six years since my Dad died. It goes by in a heartbeat and yet it feels like yesterday. Time is strange that way. I miss you, Dad.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Today is the Day

OMG.  Today is the day.  Going to a morning show to avert any interference.  My heart is full of excitement and anticipation.

Review to come.

Monday, December 24, 2012

One Day More...

One Day more, another day, another destiny.
Fantine has always been one of the characters that moves me the most. I can't wait to see Anne Hathaway's portrayal. She said she saw her mother perform as Fantine on Broadway when she was 7 years old. What an amazing connection to the show! Here are some more "Les Miserables" memories: Les Miserables Memory #3: Dec. 1988, Broadway Theatre, NYC. Sitting center orchestra, Roby gripping my hand next to me. Wild anticipation waiting for the curtain to open on the Original Broadway Cast of "Les Miserables" except for Colm Wilkinson. Garry Morris was Jean Valjean. I wept from the moment the curtain opened until about 15 minutes after the show ended. The most perfect kind of overwhelmed a person can experience. Les Miserables Memory #4: Sheer terror at the thought that I would be interpreting the tourning "Les Miserables" when I had never interpreted any music other than "The Star Spangled Banner" and Christmas assembly music in K12. Then, the music started and I knew every breath. I have never interpreted anything so well as I did that night - it was not skill, it was all heart.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Memories of "Les Miserables"

Here are some of the memories I have of "Les Miserables" (short clips from my Facebook status postings): "Les Miserables" memory #1: Driving in my brown Ford Grenada on the way to the beach with Roby singing "The Confrontation". I sang Jean Valjean, he sang Javert. "Les Miserables" memory #2 (should have been #1): Jamie Cowan Paul giving me the Act One cassette and Roby the Act Two cassette in June 1986 during Rose Festival at Roby's first apartment. Popsicles, the Starlight Parade and the beginning of a life-long passion. Thanks, Jamie!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Do I Have to Wait?

I wonder if there is a midnight showing? If there is, I'm so there!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

5 Days Left

Have said how excited I am to see "Les Miserables" when it comes out? I'm going on Christmas Day - come what may. I haven't looked forward to something so much in a long, long time...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Counting Down to the Movie

So, Facebook has been the place I have been getting all my informaiton about the upcoming movie version of the musical "Les Miserables"...their Facebook Fan page has been posting a countdown...I think I might irritate people by posting every day...but I really really want to...  I CAN'T WAIT!!!

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Wouldn't it be nice if all the hype around 12.21.12 really meant that some sanity and hope was restored for us?  I would like that.  Things feel out of control, people on the edge, hurting.

This was a beautiful tribute on "The Voice" last night:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Helplessness in the Face of Pain

I feel shut down right now. There is so much pain for everyone and I can feel the psychic wall coming down in protection.  I have been crying at any provocation - at work, at home, in the car.

I am taking this time, these feelings, this sense of helplessness as a sign that I am supposed to look up and out, see those I have surrounding me and count on us all to be strong when we can, be kind when we can, extend our arms out when we are able...

To love another person is to see the face of God.

Friday, December 7, 2012


I was invited to work with a group of Amy's closest friends and her family today to prep greens and make wreaths for Amy's Celebration of life ceremony tomorrow .  I will have a photo of it later (I hope).

In my life so far, I have been incredibly lucky to meet incredibly generous people with equally generous families.  I am grateful for these people and their open-armed welcome.  Sometimes, I stand at the periphery like a kid outside of the pet store, not knowing if I should enter - fearful of getting too attached.  They have none of it - I am pulled in and always happy for it.

Dark days are made easier when there is a little laughter blended in with the tears. We have definitely had that.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Resetting. Fail.

I knew when I took up my new project - the Resetting one- that I would fall behind immediately. I am trying to be okay with it.  I am giving myself this weekend to not get things done that I need to. Once the weekend is over, I will move on to the next phase.  That's how it is going to be.

I'm okay with it. Really.

Although, in 2013, I'm going to think twice before I commit to anything that requires action every. single. day.  I'm not good at that. Commitment issues.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Something to Look Forward To

Can I just say how EXCITED I am to have "Les Miserables" coming out in a film version?  I have been waiting for this since 1986!!  I know they were waiting for all the planets to align to have the right people, technology, support and audience.

I started listening to the show again a couple of days ago, when really, I should be listening to "Book of Mormon" (I have started listening to it on my commute though, so I'm on my way with BOM).

I am preparing myself for the fact that it won't be Colm Wilkinson and it won't be exactly the same as the stage show, but I can also tell that it will be fantastic in its own right.  The fact that the actors are singing live rather than being dubbed makes all the difference in the world.  My big fear is that they will turn too much of it into dialogue or cut out some of my favorite little moments. That almost always happens for me.  I get attached to these little moments that don't really appeal to the masses so they are the first things to get cut out when the time comes.

It feels good to be excited and looking forward to something. My plan is to go see it on Christmas night (opening night).  I can't think of a better way to celebrate Christmas.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Club No One Wants to Belong To

Some of my dearest friends in the world entered a club no one wants to belong to - the one where you lose your best friend/non-romantic soulmate/other half.  The realm of friendship is murky when a person dies - there is an expectation that we grieve more for our parents, our siblings, other family members, spouses or partners, but that friends will recover quickly.

First of all, grief is grief.  You can't quantify it. You can't qualify it. You can't measure yours against mine or vice versa.  It is grief. It is painful. And overwhelming.

Friends are chosen and often we have more contact with our friends in daily life than we do with many other very important people in our world.  This has a direct impact on the level of loss we feel, how we move through grief and how we move forward.

To me, it is less about who it was in your life that you have lost and more about how deeply your every day life is impacted. How deeply your personality is tied to the person, to your relationship, to your experience with them. Each thread of us that is tied to the other person deepens our feelings for them both in life and in death. When those threads are broken, we are cast adrift and sometimes, people forget to try to help anchor us, too.

I long for us, as a society, to pick up the mantle of learning how to treat people in grief, learning how to be kinder to each other in our pain - no matter what kind.  We are a long way off, but I know there are pockets and people doing just that. Helping the new members of the club adjust to the new "normal".

Forgive my rambly thoughts...

Monday, December 3, 2012


I don't know why the idea of resetting resonates with me so deeply this year.  Oh, if it were only that easy - a big red RESET button to just stop the march of things the way they are and start anew.

I know it doesn't work that way, but I still think that resetting our true north, our intentions, is incredibly empowering. For me, the idea that if I try to set my mind on specific things they will come closer is important. It isn't so much about resolutions as it is putting my mind on a path, a way of thinking and doing and being.

So much of life passes us by. So many things happen on the way to somewhere else, something else, someone else. It just seems like I have to take some time to really think about it, to really know that even if it goes by quickly, it has meaning. Heft. Importance.

One of my intentions this year is to get back to art journaling. I miss it. I have not created in a long, long time and I know that it is one of the things I need to do to feel like I am whole in the world.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

How I Remember

I think we all have a mechanism in our brain that sometimes freezes people in time for when we are remembering them, thinking about them. It is often the way we most want to remember them - when they were funny, young, beautiful, enjoying life. Even when people continue to be funny, young, beautiful and enjoy their lives, they sometimes are stuck in one time in my mind.

When I remember Amy, I remember her from the Mockingbird house and the outrageous laughter that we all shared back then. When I received this photo of Amy, it just re-cemented my memory of her into that time.

So, you might wonder why she is holding One Whole (Canned) Chicken (tasty hot or cold, the label says). We brought her this chicken as a gag gift. We didn't tell her who gave it to her for a couple of years, but she knew. Upon opening it, she immediately looked around the room before pointing in my direction and yelling out "Jean Miller!!" I played dumb, but I know she saw through me. And we laughed and laughed at this outrageous gift.

I'm so glad there was a photo of her with it. This is how I remember her.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Reset. Revive. Restart.

Even though I have experienced DISMAL FAILURES in the personal growth activity arena this year... :(  I have joined one for the last days of the year.

Last year, I decided to do a RESTART at the beginning of the year at work and as I look back, I accomplished a number of goals I set forth. There were several things I didn't do well and will continue to work on as time moves forward.

I bring this up because I think that my initial attraction to this program was because it was another kind of reset. An opportunity to look at the year and make plans for next year.  I have been feeling lost and missing the blog but feeling like I don't have anything useful to contribute right now, so this feels like the right place to be.

I look forward to being back and sharing some of my journey here.


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