Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Coldplay is Changing my Life.

When I was young I loved music.

If that seems like a sad sentence to you, it does to me too.  I think that the older I get the more that other things take up my time.  It is easier to sit in an easy chair and watch TV at night than to crank up the tunes and dance around or sing out loud.

NOTE:  Even now I still sing in the car, but lots of times I find myself tuning into talk radio or talking on the phone, so the singing time is short.

When I was young, so much time was spent with friends sitting around and listening and talking.  And at a very young age I remember playing music in my room for hours and singing along (The Partridge Family was one of my favorites). 

But now a song really has to move me to get me listening.

Most recently, that song has been A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay.

I began my love affair with the song when I was watching The Voice.  Chris Martin was the special coach for all the teams and (of course) I fell in love with him.  Coldplay's new album was about to come out, so they kept showing a clip of the song (from a Target commercial, I think), and then NBC even had an hour-long special featuring the band.  I was hooked from the start.

It reminds me of the "wall of sound" stuff made famous by The Beach Boys, but it also has the driving beat that makes your heart race.  And if you haven't seen them do it live, watch it here right now:

I cannot get enough of it.  I especially love watching Chris dance.  He is a bit of a goofy dancer, but he seems not to care.  Like a child.

NOTE:  I saw myself dancing on video once (from my friend Cathy's wedding) and didn't dance in public for about 15 years.

Children have no inhibitions, so even as babies if music is played, they start to move.  Such joy!

Some of the kids we serve at Community Partners of Dallas have had their joy taken from them.  An abusive parent has stolen it. 

I choose to dance.  I choose to be young.

I'm pledging to you right now that I'm going to play some music tonight and dance around.  Will you join me?

I'll save a dance for you.  Chris gets the last one though...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Four Favorite Things I Love Right Now! Part 18

I actually planned to write this Four Faves last week, but decided to write about finding my lost friends instead.

Update:  I found one of them on FaceBook and wrote her, but no word back yet.  Fingers crossed!

So these favorites were actually the things I loved last week (as opposed to Right Now!), but I definitely still love them.  If you missed Part 17, visit it here:

Now, on to the good stuff:

1.  Savory Saltine Seasoning for crackers makes something mundane into something absolutely addictive.  You buy this stuff (I buy mine on Smile.Amazon and choose Community Partners of Dallas as my charity, natch.  You should too.), put it in a big ass zip lock, add canola oil, mix, then add a whole box of saltines, shake around and let the stuff soak in, then deliciousness arrives at your house like a freight train, people.

2.  I love burning candles and this tool is a must -- a wick cutter.  I got this one from Circle E Candles in Fredericksburg many years ago and I love it.  Before I had this I would go get part of a paper towel and pinch the wick off with my fingers before lighting it, but this thing is so much better.  The disk shape next to the blades catch the black wick and then you just take it to the trash and you're done.

3.  I wish that I could have taken a photo of this lasagna before my mom and I devoured it, but I was too late.  The photo speaks for itself.  Buy it at Jimmy's -- fresh, delicious, OMG goodness.  Jimmy's Food Store is at 4901 Bryan Street and if you haven't ever been there, you are in for a treat.  I call it the Italian Kuby's and they have everything you need to prepare your own Italian food, or just make it look like you did.  They have great wine dinners too and the deli sandwiches are some of the best in town.

4.  The final favorite for this installment is our volunteers at CPD.  As you may know, we are in the middle of our Back-to-School Drive and truly, we could not put together 2,600 backpacks filled with supplies and uniforms without volunteers.  For the past several weeks (and for many weeks to come) volunteers will be the reason the caseworkers of Child Protective Services get these vital tools for their kiddos.  Thanks from the bottom of my heart if you have been part of the workforce over here!

Until next time -- Paige

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Finding Lost Love

I've been thinking about friends a lot lately.

Maybe it's because I have a birthday coming up next month (fifty-threemendous) or maybe I'm just sick of my friends...

NOTE:  Just kidding about being sick of my friends.  I'm not sick of my friends at all.  I love them and they love me.

NOTE to NOTE:  At least I'm pretty sure that they love me.  They take my calls, at least.

I think the real reason is that I keep thinking about what it would be like to be a child who is abused and neglected.  A child who is saved from a dire situation, but then is taken from the only home she knows (albeit an unsafe one) and placed into foster care.  Typically that child will not only leave her parents and family, but will also leave her friends and perhaps even her siblings.

NOTE:  Normally when children are removed by CPS from a home, all children are removed.  Many times a family of more than one or two kids cannot be placed together in the same foster home.

The child will have to go to a new school and make new friends.  He may never see his old friends again. 

When I was at Miraval recently with my friends

NOTE:  Click here to read about my most recent trip

I did a workshop where they asked us to make a pie chart of how we actually spend most of our time.  My pie was heavily weighted to work (Listen to that, CPD board members!) and television (natch).  Family had a big part of the pie, but the smallest piece of my pie (that was important, anyway) was friends.  We then were asked to draw a pie of how we wanted our pie to look and of course I enlarged my friend pie quite a bit.  Great, huh?

But what have I actually done about it?

Not much.

Here is a photo of Joe and me with some really old friends -- some that we haven't broken bread with in years.

I had them all over to dinner not long ago and I put a big clock in the center of my dining room table (along with flowers and candles, too -- my Momma raised me right, people).  Time passes.  That night was a ball of fun, but I'm greedy.  I want more.

I could just cry thinking about all of the friends I've lost.  Maybe some through controversy and fights, but most just from letting them slip away.

I'm sure you have some too.  Some that just became inconvenient.  Your circumstances changed and your lives didn't gel as much.  Or maybe you got to know them just enough to know that you didn't want them much anymore.

Here I have let friends leave my life without a word of protest, but the pitiful kids Community Partners of Dallas serves have lost everyone they knew and loved in an instant -- and most of them do it kicking and crying and screaming.  I let mine go without a fight.

I'm making a pledge to you now that I'm going to look up and find some of the people that I've let slip away.  I'll report back to you.  They may not all be thrilled to hear from me, but at least I will have tried.

Our kids don't even get the chance.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Miserables

You probably already know that I love the theatre (notice how I spelled theatre if you have any questions) and luckily I have enough money to see lots of shows.  I budget so I can enjoy season subscriptions to lots of local companies, as well as getting myself to NYC at least once a year.  And the best part is that I have friends who enjoy doing this with me, so we have girls night out a couple of times a month for dinner, then a show.  Heaven!

NOTE:  My regular theatre buddies are Jill, Maria, Helen, and Christie. I also go with my mom and now with my niece Katie back in town, I'm ready for even more.  Watertower or Lyric Stage anyone?

Currently, I have subscriptions to AT&T Broadway at the Winspear, Theater Three, Dallas Summer Musicals, and the Dallas Theater Center.  I love them all, but I think my most consistent favorite is the Dallas Theater Center (DTC). 

DTC just makes me think.  Last night we saw their production of Les Miserables and I loved it.  It is one of my favorite shows ever and it was really fun to see what a local company would do with my favorite show.  They set it in modern day instead of the Marie Antoinette days of old, so instead of shooting bayonettes, they shot handguns.  The hilarious innkeeper and his wife stole iphones and samsonite luggage from unsuspecting patrons in suits and jogging outfits.  Super fun.

If you don't know much about the story, the young male hero (Marius) ends up fighting a battle for the people during the French Revolution in Paris.  In DTC's present day production the battle seemed to be over more current topics such as the homeless, veterans affairs -- many different topics with no particular focus.  I am not a student of the French Revolution (and even though it is my favorite musical, I've never even read Hugo's book <chagrin>), so maybe the battle had no focus then either -- but I had always thought it was about the treatment of the poor by Marie and her cronies.

So last night while I'm watching this updated version of the show at DTC and see all of the unfocused contemporary moral problems that supposedly started the students and Marius fighting the police in the streets, I just kept thinking that winning a war without a focus would be hard.  To really get people behind something, you need a single enemy -- or at least a single cause to get them riled up.

Now, if the DTC show had been put on just a few weeks later in the year, they could have really said something and focused Marius and the boys on a revolution relating to the surge of young migrants from Central America crossing the border into Texas.

That's a fight for the miserables (apparently) soon to be among us.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tears with George

Independence Day always gets me thinking about the history of this great country and those great men and women who founded it, as well as those who continue the work to keep us free.

I was watching The Today Show when those planes hit the towers in NYC on 9-11. I watched in horror.  We were all afraid.

But President Bush's words gave us hope.

We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter and we will not fail.  Peace and freedom will prevail.
-- George W. Bush