October 31, 2008

I can't stop laughing...

Thank you to Operaboy for sending me this today. I laugh my hiney off every time I look at it.

Cowboys suck! GO EAGLES!

October 30, 2008

An update on Papa

Photo credit Lynn Michelle Photography 2008
The last time I posted about my Papa, I was feeling pretty blue. Things definitely aren't any better with regards to his health, but our family has made some decisions recently that I think will benefit all of us, including him.

Recently my older brother called me at work to tell me that Papa had had a bad night at the hospital. I won't even go IN to what happened, because I get so angry at the nursing staff, but suffice it to say that he just had a bad night. My dad and his sister, my aunt, went the next day to speak with the doctors and they finally asked for a timeline -- how long the doctor thinks Papa might have left with us. Something they haven't asked in all this time since his diagnosis.

The answer was sobering - 3 months. As much as it jarred me to hear that, when I stop and think about it, it seems like he won't even make it that long. Even in the week since we got that news, he's declined rapidly.

The suggestion was made by the doctor to put Papa into hospice care. I wasn't absolutely sure what that meant, so I asked my boss. She told me that it is basically "end of life" care. Again, that took me by surprise. I truly felt as if someone had punched me in the stomach. She apologized for not taking more care with her answer (she's aware of the situation) and we talked a long time about how wonderful hospice care can be for both the patient and the family of the patient.

For those of you who don't know, hospice workers usually come to the patient's home -- no more staying in the hospital. The goal is to make the patient as comfortable as possible in his or her last few months, and to ensure that the patient is surrounded by loved ones and family in an environment that is comforting and familiar.

Operaboy and I happened to be visiting Papa at the hospital this most recent Monday when my dad and my aunt were meeting with a representative of Seasons hospice care, Greg. Greg was amazing. He answered all of my dad's and my aunt's questions, and even a few that I ventured to ask. He was patient with us, and didn't even seem to mind having to repeat himself over and over (my dad is on the stubborn side and likes to make sure his voice is heard, especially in this type of situation).

We had to leave for a rehearsal, but when I spoke with my dad the next morning he said they were meeting with the nurses from Seasons at 10am that morning to sign the paperwork and ascertain what Papa needed at his home (hospital bed, sheets, which medications, the IV stand, etc). By Tuesday night, Papa was back in his home.

It's all been really rough. Part of me feels like the end is coming so soon now that we've made this decision, and it very well could be.

But I have to take it one step at a time, and just be happy he's home. He's comfortable. And he's surrounded by his children and grandchildren.

We'll enjoy it as long as we can.

Help a Mo-Brotha out!

So, off the subject of presidential candidates for a moment (*collective cheer!*), I'd like to ask you all for a favor...

An old bloggy-pal of mine, Mike over at The Mike Stand, is participating in a very fun and very worthwhile cause this month....Movember. Movember is "a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men's health."

Personally, I can't wait to see his progress, as there is nothing quite as sketchy as a moustache-bearing man.

But seriously folks, it's for a good cause. Go help him out.

October 29, 2008

Another Perspective -- Voting for McCain/Palin

Ask and ye shall receive! Since I posted my friend's perspective recently on why he chose to vote for Obama/Biden, I was hoping that someone would post, in response, why he/she chose to vote for McCain/Palin. A very dear friend from high school (has it really been almost 10 years since I've seen him??) indulged me. Here is his response:

Hey! I'm voting for McCain/Palin for a number of reasons. But here are the

1 Economy: A free market economy needs less regulation to thrive. Our economy has grown to be the strongest in the world based on these principals. I was against the bail out package and I am against bigger government.

2.Taxes: I believe that America should have a flat tax with no write offs, deductions or IRS. Increased taxes on upper and middle class will have a negative impact economic growth. Less money will mean less growth in small companies and corporate america. I love the idea of socialism. However, it has proven ineffective in many Eastern European and Asian countries over the last century. Whether democratic of totalitarian socialism the leadership has proven to become corrupted. Increased laws and regulations undoubtedly stifle economic growth and citizens end up with a lower, albeit equal quality of life. The rich Americans should be helping out the less fortunate. I do not believe that government should be the one giving handouts. I should choose where my money goes and how much to give.

3. Energy: I believe that energy will work itself out. The government should not subsidize solar, wind, or any other alternative energy source. When fuel prices get as high as they did Americans began addressing the problem itself. T. Boone Pickens and others have privately funded solar energy and natural gas growth. I hate our energy dependence on anti-american middle eastern countries and venezuela. But the way to solve it is by letting our free market economy work.

4. Abortion: Abortion is an issue that I am not willing to waiver on. In my opinion life begins the second an egg is fertilized and no one but God has the right to take that life.

In general I believe in smaller government. I can make better decisions with my retirement, health care, and charity than government. I'd be happy to talk more. I love politics!

I think this is really a turning point for America. Are we going to continue doing what got us here, or change direction and follow the role of Western Europe? I don't care how people vote, just be informed and take the time to invest in our future.

Well said! I learned a few things from his perspectives, that's for sure.

In response to his comments, another friend posted the following:

I agree. This is a huge turning point for our country. This election is about one issue to me. Capitalism vs. Socialism. I don't think capitalism is perfect, but without question Capitalism is far more superior than Socialism.

I don't currently make over $250,000/year, but:

a. I work for a company that does = lower wages for me in the future.

b. I own stocks in companies that Obama calls "Big Business"

c. I own stocks

d. I have a very small business and in my absurd "pursuit of happiness", hope to work very hard and grow this business into a bigger one, thus making lots of money. I don't want to give 35-60% of this money to the government. I would like to hire people and create opportunity.

e. I, like McCain, think that it is not government's responisibility to redistribute our money. I would rather trust my money invested in free market.

October 27, 2008

A Perspective -- "Why I Voted"

An old friend posted this as a note on Facebook, and I have copied it here, with his permission. I thought it was extremely well written and well thought out. Thanks for writing it, A!

Today I exercised my civil duty and right as part of participatory
democracy. I thought I would take a few moments to clarify my standings this

I didn’t vote for Obama because of his stance on abortion. I’m a firm
believer in human life, however after watching complete republican control for 6
of the last 8 years do NOTHING about it; I have come to the conclusion that it’s
not going to change in America in my lifetime.

I didn’t vote for Obama because of his stance on homosexuality. Although I believe it is wrong, I also realize it really doesn’t have anything to do with me. If two men want to get married, it in NO WAY affects the marriage between my wife and I. It will not ‘lower’ public opinion about marriage between a man and woman.

I voted for Obama because I’m a republican. I feel that the Republican Party has taken a dangerous swerve to the far right. When I hear people whisper Obama’s full name, trying to pursued[sic] people he’s something he’s not- it frightens me. Even IF Obama was Muslim or believed in any other religion… would it actually matter? Because someone’s skin color, religion or creed is different than mine, does that mean they’re ineligible to be my president?

I voted for Obama because America used to be great. I say used to be because we’ve let our educational system fail ourselves, yet we haven’t been able to fix it. We tried to leave no child behind, but ended up leaving a whole system behind. It’s going to take a lot more than standardized tests to make sure we’re not graduating high school seniors graduate without being able to read.

I voted for Obama because I’m a conservative Christian and he is also a Christian. Obama’s social views more closely align to how my religion dictates we should treat other people. He also conducts himself more like a Christian that most other of those who swing to the religious right. I’m tired of hearing about all the adulterous, lying, cheating, lewd, swindling politicians who wave the flag of being a conservative Christian, but act nothing of the sort.

I voted for Obama because I feel he has a closer grip to reality on what’s happening to America’s economy. More importantly he knows it’s a global economy. He understands that in order for America to be successful, we cannot be an island unto ourselves. It’s OKAY, no actually it’s GOOD that he wants to sit down and TALK to foreign leaders. We shouldn’t bomb everyone who disagrees with us.

I voted for Obama, because I voted for George W. Bush twice. Bush led us
valiantly into a war against terror; then into a war against Iraq. And after
that, I lost a childhood friend in the never-ending war. I also have a brother
who served two long tours in the war. A war that we probably shouldn’t be in but
nonetheless we are in: and someone is going to have to figure out to get us out

I voted for Obama because I’m a tax paying citizen. I am not a member of
the top 1% earners in the country making over $250,000, so under Obama’s tax
plan I don’t really face paying more taxes. However if I did, hopefully I would
realize that with great privilege comes great responsibility. Because I simply
have more money doesn’t make me better than anyone, but increases my personal
burden to help take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. I do
understand concern over taxes, but also realize that sometimes things cost
money. We can talk all day about cutting pork-barrel spending, eliminating waste
etc. There are beneficial programs that our government runs that shouldn’t be
arbitrarily cut while military spending continues at record levels.

I voted for Obama because I’m a father. I want to see my children grow up in a better country than we are in right now. I want them to be in a place where they don’t have to worry about terrorists lurking at any corner waiting to strike them
down. But a place where they also don’t have to worry about the government
lurking at every corner watching what they’re doing. A country where they can
hang their heads high, knowing that the government has THEIR PEOPLE’s best
interest at heart.

I voted for Obama because I think it’s a little ostentatious to call yourself a maverick to a system that you’ve been a part of for 36 years.

I voted for Obama because I AM a Christian. I have sat besides people in
worship who have spoken words like ‘I don’t know how someone can be a Christian
and vote for Obama.’ I’m sorry, but that’s wrong. I’m tired of seeing a system
that vilifies people based on political leanings and party stances, and that
somehow only one party can be Christian. When will people learn that it’s okay
to disagree?I voted for Obama because neither the left nor the right is correct
all the time. I could go on, but I hope you get the point…

October 26, 2008

Cake or Death?

I was led to this quote last week:

“I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they
professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of
To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The
flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks
it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you
prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.” --David Sedaris

Mr. Sedaris is referring to undecided voters.

I've now seen this quote on several blogs and websites, and these posts/sites are always followed by several comments on how "oh-so-hilarious" it is. I personally don't find it funny.

Let me just start out by saying I missed the deadline to register to vote in Texas, and no I can't vote absentee in Massachusetts because I never re-registered while I lived up there (so please, save me the "you can't have an opinion if you're not voting" comments. They will not be published.). I'm truly sad about this, because I can honestly say, for the first time in my life, that this is the most informed I have ever been during an election year.

Even so, I am still an undecided voter. I am confident that, even if I were able to walk up to my local voting facility, I would still hem and haw before finally making my decision.

Yet, I do not equate my indecision to choosing between chicken and shit.

For any of my friends who truly know me, this should be both surprising and exciting to them. Most times, I am pretty opinionated on which candidate I think will be the best for our country, whether or not I actually make it to the polls.

I have always been a fairly conservative person, and I tend to show that in my political leanings as well. As I get older and as my husband and I realize that the next president will very likely be in office when/if we decide to start having children, I actually get more conservative. I am not an extreme left or right. I don't choose candidates based on the letter next to his/her name, and I never will. I don't "only vote on moral issues," as my father so proudly boasts. I have been truly, truly paying attention.

So, in order for me to start leaning a little more left and thinking quite seriously about another candidate is a big step for me, and I'm a bit proud of myself actually. Part of me, likely the part where the pride lives, doesn't want to do this on general principle, because I don't want to align myself with all the celebrities and other people who vote for only the most popular candidate. I also can't even talk about my feelings with my family, because they all refuse to vote for a candidate whose middle name might not be "James."

However, even in looking at this candidate, I still disagree with a lot of his propositions.

So yes, I'm truly undecided. A small (very small) part of me is glad I won't be voting on November 4th, because I don't want to make a decision if I'm not absolutely sure.

Therefore, Mr. Funnyman Sedaris....how is the chicken cooked? If it's uncooked, or completely burnt to a crisp, then I'll take neither that NOR the platter of shit. I'm not very hungry after all.

October 23, 2008


My grandfather is dying.

I know, not exactly the most uplifting way to start a blog post, but I might as well come out with it.

It's not like this is new news. Mere days after my Nana passed away last year, my Papa was diagnosed with lung cancer. The fact that we're almost a year later and he's still with us is a huge blessing, but it's difficult at the same time. After his first round of chemotherapy nearly killed him, he opted not to take the second round. Well, as can be expected, it's getting worse.

He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday for breathing problems and stomach/chest pain, and they sent the scope down and found nothing in his esophagus or stomach, so they concluded that the tumors in his lungs and in the abdominal wall are likely growing and subsequently causing more pain and difficulty breathing.

So now he has 3 options:

1. He can take radiation, and the risks involved.
2. He can take a medication that's $3200 a month, and not guaranteed to improve anything or extend his life.
3. He can do nothing.

I honestly don't know what to think. It breaks my heart. I just pray and ask God to take away Papa's pain and suffering...however He so chooses.

I think what is the most upsetting to me (and not just about Papa but also about Operaboy's grandfather, who is going to be 93 next May and is bedridden) is to see the shell of such a strong man. I mean here are two men who, respectively, laid brick in most of the houses on his street and the other was a doctor in the war and had a family practice for years....and now they need help doing the simplest of things, such as bathing and going to the bathroom. It has to be so frustrating and humiliating for them and it breaks my heart.

I also don't like being here for it. I know that sounds so selfish and tacky, but it's true. When Nana died, and when Operaboy's uncle died last year, I wasn't there when they died. I was hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. I was able to grieve on my own, and handle the news and process it on my own before going to the services.

Here, I'm right in the middle of every breaking development, every new story, etc. And I hate it. I don't know how to handle it.

Well, that's not true. I do know how I would handle it. I just don't know how to handle it when my family handles things in a much more dramatic way (picture lots of negativity and weeping and gnashing of teeth), and I'm much more internal about it. Therefore I appear cold and heartless, which is just not fair.

I look for anything positive in the situation, and refuse to give someone up as a bad job just because of what a doctor says. That helps me. Even when he dies, I'll be able to find so much peace knowing that he's back with his Betty (my nana) and his Lord. It's not to say that I won't be sad. Of course I will be. It freaking sucks if you want to know how I really feel.

I'm just having a hard time processing all of this. I know this post is kind of verbal diarrhea (sp?), so I promise to post again soon with more better stuff.

October 22, 2008

Pandora's Box

I know I'll probaboy sound as if I've just crawled out from underneath a rock by saying this, but to be fair, the rock under which I lived didn't allow streaming radio.

Pandora is my most recent discovery and subsequent obsession. I. Am. In LOVE.

For my first station attempt, I simply typed in "Michael Bublé," because he was the first artist that popped into my head. Suddenly I was treated to a selection of wonderful "dinner music," including Mr. Bublé, Frank, Dean, Nat, etc.....(doesn't Nat King Cole's voice always make you think of Christmas, just automatically? It does for me. Anyway, I digress...)

Later in the morning, I decided I wanted a different flavor, so I typed in Billy Joel. Now I've got an amazing selection of works from Billy, Elton, Queen, CCR, The Eagles, The Beatles, etc. I'm in HEAVEN.

It's like they are READING MY MIND (which, after seeing Eagle Eye, is a bit scary)!!!

If you haven't discovered Pandora, click immediately on this link, and begin creating your station. GO! It's free! It's easy! You'd be silly not to!

October 15, 2008

New (to me) Music

Katie Herzig - "Forevermore"

A little birdy named Lynn pointed me in the direction of this song, and while at first I thought it was a bit too quirky for my taste, now I can't stop listening to it. I don't prefer this version, but it's the easiest way to share it. Try it out on MySpace music, too!


October 14, 2008

Sports Karma

Several VERY interesting, sports-related incidents this weekend. Some of which I'm thrilled about, others...well, let's just say I'm not ready to talk about it.

* Eagles win. FANTASTIC! However, it would be even BETTER if they knew how to score a red-zone touchdown. Defensive touchdowns are great and all, but let's try to fix the offense, shall we? Sheesh.

* Cowboys lose. Granted, this is ALWAYS good news in our house. However, karma came through for me on this one. That play in the first half that SHOULD HAVE BEEN a Tony Romo fumble and resulting Cardinal touchdown? OMG. Nothing is more infuriating than the so-called "Tuck Rule." We call it the "Suck Rule" in my house because it is THAT retarded. So glad they lost! And the man my brothers call "The Jedi" is out for at least 4 weeks. Woo hoo!

* Red Sox drop 2 games to the Rays. Yeesh. Not ready to talk about.

* Texas beats OU. Now, I didn't go to either school, but I will always root for UT because it's kinda in the family. My brothers are huge fans, and I really just don't like OU on general principle.

That is all, really. Since the blog is called "Music and Baseball," I figured I ought to mention sports, even if I don't really have time to blog.

October 10, 2008


See, I promised I'd blog again soon. :)

Good news this week! I was offered a job at my alma mater, and I accepted! This is a prime example of God working in our life before we even knew it. Here's a little backstory...

When we decided to move back to Texas from Boston, we had two options: 1)we could begin applying for jobs, hope to get an offer, then move back, or 2)we could move back on a wing and a prayer (or lots) and start looking for work ASAP. We decided on option 2, and for a while now recently I've been wondering whether or not that was the right decision.

Fast forward to our wedding, which was two weeks after we made The Big Move. My boss from a job I worked as a student employee my last semester was in attendance. I jokingly asked her if she needed anyone in her office, and to my surprise she answered that she was going to be posting a position soon, and to call her when we returned from the honeymoon.

Fast forward to now. Over the past few weeks, I've been in contact with her so that I would know when the job was posted officially, and the correct avenues to take in order to apply. I interviewed on Monday of this week, and was made an offer on WEDNESDAY!! Praise God!

I don't normally like to pray for specific things; I prefer to tell God that I want His will done in my life. However, I was praying hardcore for this specific job. There are many reasons why (most of them financial...we were going to be in a world of hurt soon, if I hadn't started earning a paycheck soon), but I think the biggest reason was that I feel comfortable there. I know that I can really launch a career there. I can start taking classes towards a Master's degree eventually. I mean the list of "pros" of this job goes on and on and on.

I feel SO blessed, and Operaboy is equally excited for me. He actually jumped up and down when I told him I got the offer. Cute. :)

Thank you for the thoughts and prayers and good vibes over the past month. More are certainly appreciated as I begin the job and as Operaboy still looks for work.

October 1, 2008

We did it!

I know, I know! All that stuff about starting blogging again, and it's been HOW long since I posted the last time? To be fair, we DID move across the country, get married, go on our honeymoon, and begin the depressing cycle of job-hunting and being broke and bored. So really, there's nothing keeping me from blogging since I am so broke. And bored.

The wedding was AMAZING! I'll have my CD of pictures soon and will be able to post some of my favorites and highlights, but for now, here's an excellent sampling from my photographer's blog.

My photographer, by the way, is probably THE most excellent I've seen in my entire life. Check her out (link on sidebar) -- Lynn Michelle, thank you for making my wedding day memories SO beautiful!

So then there was the honeymoon, and THAT was a trip! Disneyworld was DEFINITELY the way to go!

I've got a GREAT job lead now that we're back, and I hope to hear something by the end of this week or the beginning of next....Operaboy is in the process of looking into teaching voice again, and hopefully soon we'll be back on our feet and in our own place!

That's really all that's going on for now, but with the MLB playoffs coming up, the Election (and all that encompasses), I'm sure I'll have plenty to blog about!

Stay tuned!