Of Synchronicity, Music, and The Power of Praise

I love when a plan comes together. I also love when circumstances bring forth a sweet surprise for several people. This happened to me a couple weeks ago.

On October 22, Barbara at Bad Tempered Zombie wrote a review of Emma Hill’s CD Clumsy Seduction for No Depression Magazine. It was featured prominently on the website for a few hours, which had Barbara all excited. Emma read the review and thanked Barbara, which pleased her to no end.

A few days after her review was posted, I head off to the Tomales Bay Workshops, a five-day writing conference in Marin County. It was a fantastic experience, meeting fellow word lovers and published authors, discussing our stories and books we love, getting inspired to write more and more and more. Truly magical and money well spent.

But I digress. On the third day at the I look at the conference program and see that on Saturday night the special musical guest is Emma Hill. The name rings a bell…wait, isn’t that the chick Barbara reviewed? I can’t get on the Internet to find out because my iPhone is struggling to pick up a steady signal. Dammit. I’m pretty certain it’s her, though.

I trudge through the woods to the Friday night reading. As I’m noshing on dessert post-reading, I overhear a woman talking to someone behind me. “Will you be performing solo tomorrow?” she’s asking.

Holy crap, I think, she must be talking to Emma! I turn around and say, “Excuse me, are you Emma Hill?”

“Yes,” she says. Wow, she is young, I think to myself.

“We have a connection in common,” I tell her, explaining how I know Barbara. Emma’s face lights up at the mention of Barbara’s name. “When I read her review, I cried,” she says. “She was so supportive and sweet, it meant so much to me.” I am thrilled to hear this, because even though I don’t know Barbara personally, I’ve been reading her blog for several years so I feel as if we are close friends. As we continue talking I discover Emma has been at the conference the WHOLE TIME. Crazy, right?

The next night I head down to the main hall to hear Emma perform. I get there late so I only get to hear one song, but it’s so freakin’ awesome it makes up for whatever I may have missed. “You’re My Man” is Emma’s tribute to Leonard Cohen, one of her favorite songwriters. She dedicates the song to Pam Houston, director of the conference and fellow Cohen fan.

After the performance ends I weave my way through the chairs to Emma. I tell her, “I know at least 15 bloggers who are going to LOVE that song,” and she laughs. The new CD will be out around February, she tells me. [Now that I’ve heard a few songs from her last two albums, I am betting this next one will be fan-freakin’-tastic.]

I snap a picture to send to Barbara, and to add to this lovely story about synchronicity, music, and the power of praise. So here she is, Miss Emma Hill. Go listen to her tunes, buy a CD. Then go to Barbara’s blog, read her music reviews, comment on a post or two. Send the link to your friends and keep on spreading the love.

The lovely and talented Emma Hill

Barbara at Bad Tempered Zombie Inspired Me

This pedicure picture brought to you by OPI and Zoya

This pedicure picture brought to you by OPI and Zoya

Update for those who are as confused and troubled as Johnny Rocket:

Barbara over at Bad Tempered Zombie posted some winter pictures along with a picture of her lovely pedicure. I had been considering doing my toes, but I tend to give my tootsies a break in the winter, seeing as I am wearing more socks and closed-toe shoes. Tonight I decided to go ahead and paint the toenails for Christmas.

For you nail color aficionados, this color is Divincia by Zoya.

Interview with Moxie

So Barbara over at Bad Tempered Zombie put out a call for interview subjects, and I responded. I figured it would be good incentive for me to actually post something on here. And see, it worked!

1. How would our society be different if it were matriarchal instead of patriarchal?

The easy answer is to say “there would be less war and famine,” which I think would be true to some extent. More importantly, though, there would not have been a feminist movement, which I think screwed things up for many women and men. Asking for equal political, social, sexual, intellectual and economic rights as men sets up the world in a way that many women will frequently contort themselves to behave in ways that are antithetical to who they really are. A good example of this is women trying to “have sex like men” – no emotional attachment or involvement – and this behavior doesn’t always work out to anyone’s benefit. I’d like to think that a matriarchal society would have guided people to define their roles based on what comes naturally to them and not based on gender.

2. Which of your ancestors would you most like to meet?

I’d really like to meet my grandfather’s uncle Neil. He worked in vaudeville with his wife and daughter. There are some family photos, an old poster and a recording of his show “Down on Brook Farm”, which toured all over the East Coast. From what I’ve read online, the show was really popular in more rural communities because he’d crafted all these different characters illustrating farm living. There’s a picture showing Uncle Neil dressed up as all these different characters and he’s obviously enjoying himself. Pops and I like to say that we have a love of theater because of Uncle Neil.

3. What would you most like to do for someone else if you had the money and time?

I would set up an artist’s colony in Venice Beach, CA, where any working artist could live rent free provided they stay off drugs and showcase their work on the boardwalk. I’ve thought about this idea since I spent a lot of time hanging out in Venice Beach and saw so many talented artists trying to make it there. I would also set up scholarships at my alma mater – both high school and college.

4. Would you stop eating all junk food to live 5 years longer?

Depends on how you define junk food. If it’s all processed, high fat/high sugar foods, then I think I would. There are certain foods I’d struggle to give up, though, like Trader Joe’s White Cheddar Popcorn or their Tortilla Chips with an Identity Crisis. Oh, and dark chocolate. Do those count?

5. What does your perfect day look like?

Waking up when it feels natural, then having a tasty breakfast of eggs, tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, bacon and a latte. Visiting some eclectic shops or museums, maybe exploring a part of town I’d never been to before, then meeting a friend or two for a light lunch. Taking a good book and my journal to a cafe and just hanging out, reading, writing and having tea or another latte. Dinner out with more friends, then maybe a good movie, play or musical. A soothing bath at home with a glass of wine or champagne, then bed. Wow, this all sounds really fabulous, I think I might actually shoot for this perfect day on my birthday this weekend.

Thanks Barbara!

20 Questions Meme from Bad Tempered Zombie

Finally I finished the meme that Barbara asked me to do. Hooray for Moxie! I’m not going to tag anyone, mainly because I’m way too tired to figure out who might be up for this meme.

Remove one question from below, and add in your personal question, make it a total of 20 questions, then tag 8 people in your list. List them out at the end of this post. Notify them in their chat box that he/she has been tagged. Whoever does the tag will have blessings from all.

1. Who is your all-time inspiration?

My paternal grandfather. At 94, he is still alert and enjoying life as much as possible. His youthful spirit is a reminder to me that just because your body ages doesn’t mean that your essence has to age, too.

2. Led Zeppelin or Aerosmith?

Oooh, tough question. I am partial to Zeppelin, but I do enjoy Aerosmith too. I’ll go with Zeppelin.

3. If you were stranded on a deserted island, who are the three blog buddies you’d take with you and why?

Beth – because she’d have the best tunes, and some great stories. Plus she’d have good baubles to trade with any angry natives we might encounter.
Arjewtino – because he’s easy on the eyes and incredibly funny.
Staci at Laughing Mommy – because this would be the one time when we could really get to know each other better (she’s my cousin & I don’t see her very often).

4. Where is the place you want to go to the most?

In this moment, the bed looks pretty good. In terms of world travel, Australia & New Zealand would be mighty fun.

5. If you could have one dream come true, what would it be?

There’s a lot, but right now what comes to mind is meeting my maternal grandmother. She died when Momcat was 14. I would love to hear her stories firsthand.

6. Do you believe in seeing a rainbow after the rain?


7. What are you most afraid of losing right now?

In all honesty, my job. Getting fired from the last one really messed with my head and more than a year afterwards I’m still coping with that loss.

8. If you win one million dollars what would you do?

Pay off debts, invest in some promising tech ventures, set up scholarships for kids I know, do some secret good deeds (I can’t tell you what they are because then it wouldn’t be a secret),

9. If/when you meet somebody that you love, would you confess it to him/her?

Sure, why not?

10. List out three good points of the person who tagged you.

Barbara at Bad Tempered Zombie is clever, weird in a totally accessible, non-dorky way and kind.

11. Three weird facts about yourself.

a) The toenail on my right pinky toe is split along the side and it’s been like that for years. I’m scared to find out how it can be fixed because I make up it will hurt.
b) I don’t know if this is weird, but I am one of the few women I know that doesn’t get obsessive about buying shoes. I rarely own more than 10 pairs at any given time – and that’s counting flip-flops and sandals.
c) My childhood imaginary friend was named Cindy and was patterned on Cindy Brady.

12. Which type of person do you hate the most?

Hypocritical, extremely judgmental folks that refuse to acknowledge the role they play in shaping their destiny.

13. If you have faults, would you rather the people around you point it out to you or would you rather they keep quiet?

As hard as it is sometimes to hear the truth, I would want to know. I just want them to be pointed out in a kind, loving way, and not because the other person is trying to make me feel like shit.

14. What do you think is most important in life?

Being in the moment and realizing that every moment is exactly as it’s supposed to be.

15. Are you a shopaholic?

Not really, though I suppose with a platinum AmEx and no limit I could be.

16. State one of your desires.

To swim with dolphins. While I have this idea that it might bring on an intense spiritual experience that makes me bawl for hours, I still want to do it.

17. Which part of your character would you like to change?

Any part that is strongly motivated by fear.

18. What have you been putting off doing lately?

This meme, writing Yelp reviews, writing blog posts, taking care of some personal administrative stuff…and the list goes on…

19. 2+2 =?


20. Describe yourself in three words.

Zany, smart, believer