The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle

I’ve been obnoxiously excited during the past week over Missy Higgins’ new album.  I realize I sound like a crazy person, but I don’t care.  It’s really that good.
I like a lot of music.  Who doesn’t?  I’ll groove on some classic Motown.  I’ll tap my fingers on my steering wheel to the latest Top 40 class.  I’ll even turn on some twang when lounging on the boat at my cabin.  Music makes life bearable… enhancing the fun times and softening the not-so-fun times.
It can also reach down into the deepest parts of your core and pull out things you didn’t know were there.
This record stirs my very soul.  I’ve listened to it end-to-end at least 20 times over the past seven days, but it didn’t reallyhit me until one night earlier this week when the sun was opposite from my small piece of Earth.
I had been lying on my back in my bed for hours, trying to still the things rolling around in my head.  With a frustrated sigh, I reached into my nightstand and pulled out a pair of studio headphones (everyone keeps those in their nightstand, right?)
I slid them over my ears and plugged the other end into my iPhone as I navigated to The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle and hit play.  I closed my eyes and found myself completely lost in the beautifully composed and carefully told lyrics.  The world around me seemed to disappear and it was like I was in a trance.   I saw my own story in hers, flashing across my mind like an old projection movie
As the last song came to a close, I pulled the headphones off my head and tossed them on the other half of my bed.  I lied there for a minute, completely overcome by emotion, before getting up and turning on a small lamp in my living room.  I sat in my big, brown Chesterfield-ish chair.  It was 3am.  My six-string stood on its stand with the faint light delicately gleaming across it.  With perfect posture, I sat virtually motionless, staring at it across the room.
I should go to bed,I thought as the clock crept towards 4am.   I had every intention of doing just that when I finally forced myself out of that chair.  But instead I picked up my guitar and sat on the edge of my couch.  I started playing chords, trying a few different combinations until it started to just flow out of me.
I think that’s why I love this album so much.  It awakens that passion inside of me.    A passion I ignored for a lot of years and have been trying desperately to grab a hold of once again.
I’m not going to “critique” this record.  Who the hell am I to do that?  I’m a no-one who happens to think this album, in its genuine and raw honesty, is absolutely brilliant.
Form your own opinion.  If I may suggest… read thisand then listen to this.  Then listen to it again.

(This vid was released today… a beautiful visualization of a stunning song)



Two Years Later

“I could do nothing and nothing will change, or I could do something and something might.”
I said that to myself one day as I started making life changes to become a healthier person, and it became my own personal mantra when I was on the brink of giving up. 
Two years ago this week, I was in NYC celebrating my 30th birthday with friends from Minneapolis.  Before those friends arrived, though, I hung out at a beer garden in Queens with my NY friends and co-workers.  Of course, in this day of camera phones, a bunch of photos were taken.
When I saw the images the next day on Facebook, I was shaken to my core. (My MN friends can probably confirm I was a bit out of sorts that entire trip, now you know why.)  It was like I had just realized I was fat.  Not that I didn’t know.  Believe me, I was well aware.  But up until that moment, I’m not sure I really SAW it.  I compare it to someone pouring gasoline all over me… which would be ignited by an afternoon at the theater a short time later.  
About a month ago, I dropped into a healthy BMI… and for the first time in my adult life I wasn’t considered “overweight” or “obese.”  There are no words to describe what that moment was like.  I literally fell to my knees; 96 pounds lighter and completely overcome with emotion. 
I stood up, looked in the mirror and saw determination in my eyes.  I’m not done.  This isn’t a checkered flag.  It’s taken me two years just to get to the starting line.  
(My God, how self-indulgent am I sounding?  I’m annoying myself.  Honestly, I really just wanted to thank those of you who stood with me during an extremely trying period in my life.  I wasn’t always a treat to be around and I know that.  So thank you.)

To make swinging by worth your while, I give you a random video…