Monday, April 27, 2009

Let's Get Physical!

Leaving New York was like turning over a new leaf for me. When I finally hailed that last cab and headed to LGA, I played a really sappy mix of Cat Power's The Greatest and Puccini's "Nessun dorma" on repeat because it was just about the most dramatic thing I could find. I was rushed through security and put on an earlier flight to Houston, so before I had time to be sad, I was up in the air (and I stood next to Jerry O'Connell at the airport - like I was going to cry in front of him!). It had been so gloomy the days before I left, but suddenly, we climbed up through the clouds and it was sunny and beautiful It was all very symbolic. I decided the playlist I had arranged for the flight was all wrong and immediately switched it over to Taylor Swift, which eased me into the Texas state of mind!

My final days (let's be honest - my final month and then some) were jam-packed with brunches, happy hours, pizza and late night trips to Magnolia. Now that all that fun has been added to my thighs and I'm starting over down here in God's Country, I'm left with only one option: detox. I hit the West Texas ground running, literally.

Day One: No carbs, no sugar and a brisk 3 mile walk/brief jog

Day Two: No carbs, no sugar and an even more brisk 3 mile walk/jog with some brief sprints

Day Three: Maybe a few carbs, no sugar and a round of tennis

So I'm off to a decent start, but I had to call the tennis game a little bit short on day 3 for the sake of my killer shin splints. For now I'm spending my nights rotating the ice pack for the heating pad and then rubbing them down with icy hot before bed. I'm updating my work out playlist with a few new tunes to keep me going:

The Virgins - Rich Girls
The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name
Solange - I Decided
Demi Lovato - La La Land

Any other suggestions?

Monday, April 20, 2009

City Love

I’ve spent most of my life trying to balance these dueling scenarios in my head. On one hand, I saw myself in a total Friday Night Lights scenario…marrying a good guy like Coach Taylor and being known and loved by all the townspeople. Ha. Because that’s what I knew and that’s how I grew up. But I’ve always had larger-than-life dreams and a larger part of me really craved something bigger. I saw myself living the fact-paced city life through Hollywood scenarios and being swept off my feet by a John Mayer type character. (I know how insane this sounds, but I actually think in these kinds of scenarios.) Do you remember the scene in Beauty and the Beast where she is singing in the field after rejecting Gaston’s proposal? That is a song and a scene that I have related to since I was a kid.

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere…I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand, to have someone understand…I want so much more than they’ve got planned.”

As juvenile as it might sound, these are words that stuck with me and I found myself waving them like a banner just knowing that God had more in store for me. I have never been one to settle…probably to a fault! So I moved cross-country with my best pal and started a life in New York City. I worked for the company I dreamed about in an industry that had seemed untouchable. I lived it up and I made mistakes. I had the time of my life! We conquered the city in style.

I have love, love, loved the life this city has offered me. The friends I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned are immeasurable and I have zero regrets. But I’m choosing to swallow my pride and pay attention to what the Lord might have planned for me. So I’m going to “turn and face the strange ch ch changes”. At the end of the adventure, sometimes you just want to be near the ones you love – and for me, that means getting back to my roots in Texas. I’m deeply going to miss the rat-race; using planes, trains and automobiles just to get out of the city; random celebrity sightings while waiting in line at Starbucks; interesting people all around; Central Park in the summer. But all these little holes will be filled with finally getting to see one of my nephew’s soccer games; spontaneous dinners with family; weekends out with my best friends and getting to be involved as their lives change as well.

So there’s sadness and there’s excitement…both shoes fit and I’m taking a different route than I planned. I guess that will teach me to plan! But I am who I am, and if you think I’ve given up my dreams of traveling the world and being a fulltime groupie, you’ve got a lot to learn. Here’s to the Big Apple and to big dreams and fresh starts.

In the theme of nostalgia and sadness, these songs are so New York it’s going to ache to hear them anywhere else.

Many The Miles – Sara Bareilles (her entire Little Voice cd, actually)
Buildings & Mountains – The Republic Tigers
It’s About Time – Barcelona
Young Folks – Peter Bjorn

Strawberry Swing – Coldplay
City Love – John Mayer
Detroit – Black Gold
Won’t Stop – OneRepublic

“I tell everyone, I smile just because I’ve got a city love…and I can’t remember life before her name.” JM

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Live From New York...

So much has happened in the last week, I can hardly keep up.

We started the weekend with a proper Texas sendoff; great friends, great BBQ and a live country band at the best Texas joint in New York City. We cancelled the late-night karaoke plans in lieu of an early start on Saturday…a very early start in fact. Four faithful friends and I left our apartment about 3:30 am, the same time most of New York starts to call it a night, and headed to Rockefeller Center in an attempt to score tickets to Saturday Night Live. It was one last hoo-rah for a couple of us…and a chance for all of us to flex our cougar skills with the beloved tween star host, Zac Efron.

Now if you’re not familiar with Zac Efron, then you’re missing out on some of the greatest made for tv musicals of your time! He is the heart and soul of the High School Musical franchise and has been called the Kevin Bacon of our generation. Now, I think Kevin Bacon is far from attractive…but I do agree that Zefron is extremely talented and adorable. He’s everywhere right now; SNL, Ellen, The Today Show, American Idol, your local movie theatre this weekend and the cover of GQ. Here is a fun little preview of what we got to see firsthand:

The show was a blast; Zac and the cast were hilarious, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs played and we all agreed (post-nap) that it was well worth it. Kristen and I rounded out the weekend with VIP tickets to see Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which was great! If you haven’t tuned in since he took over for Conan, you should start! For one thing, The Roots are his house band and they put on a great show themselves. We also got to hear former Led Zeppelin bassist, John Paul Jones, play with Sara Watkins, of Nickel Creek – such a cool collaboration. NBC should pay me for all this shameless promotion.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Idol Talk

Did you know that Gavin DeGraw has a new album? It came out last week, but has apparently gotten zero promotion – I think probably because it’s not what people expected. (Although, I don’t get the radio, so correct me if I’m wrong, I certainly hadn’t heard about it.) His Chariot cd was a staple the summer between my freshman & sophomore year in college, but he released another one last year that I never bothered to listen to. Probably because Kristen Cavallari was in his video. Regardless, he has come a long way from his “One Tree Hill” theme song days! Free sounds a little bit more like he is singing from his diary; it’s kind of slow, kind of serious and very piano-based. Ease into it with Mountains to Move and Lover Be Strong…if you like those, you’ll probably like the whole thing – and it’s only $7.99 which is pretty cheap.

Also, can we talk a little bit about American Idol? I don’t mean to be rude, but hallelujah that people wised up and gave ol’ Scott the boot. I get why people really wanted to give him a chance, but this is a competition for a record deal. Be honest, would you buy his album? Didn’t think so. I will say though, I’m really loving a few of these people.

Matt won me over with his piano skills, and he’s had a few rough patches – namely when he did Viva La Vida – but I think he’s great, with or without the fedora. I was really hooked when he did Marvin Gaye.
Kris is really sweet and kind of my type…even if he is a married 23-year old. But, he’s been winning over the judges pretty consistently – my personal fave was his rendition of Ain’t No Sunshine!
As for Allison, I think she’s just about the only girl worth voting for. She has a powerhouse voice and pretty bad style but you can’t deny she’s pretty incredible for 16 years old. And if you know me at all, you probably know that I have the Bonnie Raitt Greatest Hits album…and Allison happened to do one of my all-time favorites this week.

Consider yourself voted for.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Weekly Shuffle

My Apologies. Life has been crazy with visitors, packing, craigslist and giving a 2 weeks notice to anybody who will listen. Not to mention we are jam-packing our last bit of time here with everything New York…dinners & brunches a plenty here in 2D!

If you’ve noticed – anytime I title a post “Weekly Shuffle” it’s because I can’t find something with a cohesive theme, but I’ve got lots of good tunes to share - so here goes with a really random mix!

Kristen and I got tickets to a free screening of the new movie Adventureland last week. Just one of the many perks I’ll miss about NYC and living across the street from a premiere theatre. The movie is based around a new grad in the 80’s who is trying to save his money to move to New York in the fall, so he takes a summer job at a local amusement park and of course, falls in love with a fellow carnie. Summer love & 80’s music inspired me to download Just Like Heaven from The Cure’s Greatest Hits album. I have another great version of this song by Katie Melua, but there ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby.

Also, I was having my usual burrito bowl at Chipotle last weekend when a semi-familiar tune came on the radio, muzak or whatever they call it these days. It was Weird Fishes/Arpeggi from Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” album. Shazam reminded me that I had put this on my iphone and completely neglected it since. Now, most people who are Radiohead fans are die-hard. I guess the timing wasn’t right because I just never jumped on that train, but I am a huge fan of this whole cd – which makes me think I should go back and re-evaluate a few things. Not to mention they put on a stellar performance of 15 Step at the Grammys this year with the USC band!

Another exciting thing that was recently released is the trailer for the much-anticipated Spike Jonze movie, Where the Wild Things Are. The trailer is set to Arcade Fire’s Wake Up…thanks NYMag, see below: